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Dallas nurse is Ebola free, will leave NIH today

Patient Nina Pham speaks outside of National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md., Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Patient Nina Pham speaks outside of National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md., Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) AP

A nurse from Dallas, Texas who contracted Ebola is now virus free and will be released Friday afternoon from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Nina Pham, 26, was transferred to the biocontainment unit at NIH’s Special Clinical Studies Unit on October 16.

She was previously hospitalized at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas where she became infected with Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, who had the virus.

Pham and fellow nurse, Amber Vinson, 29, were among more than 70 health care workers at the Dallas hospital who were being monitored for Ebola after caring for Duncan.

Vinson also contracted the virus and is hospitalized at the biocontainment unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

On Wednesday, Vinson’s released a statement saying she too was free of the virus.

Officials at Emory have not confirmed that information, however. But in a statement, Vinson’s family said the nurse, 29, “is steadily regaining her strength and her spirits are high.”

Pham's improvement was first reported by the hospital earlier this week when her condition was upgraded from fair to good condition. Doctors will brief the media on her recovery later today.

Pham will be the fourth U.S. patient to recover from the virus after treatment in one of the four specialized biocontainment facilities in the United States.

On Wednesday, 33-year-old freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, who contracted Ebola in Liberia, was released from the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Biocontainment Unit after fully recovering from the deadly virus.

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