WASHINGTON — The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital has been sitting up and eating and has her iPad after being moved to a specialized isolation unit near Washington, officials said Friday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday that Nina Pham's condition is stable and she is resting comfortably at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He said she is "in good spirits."
Pham, 26, arrived shortly before midnight Thursday and was admitted to the clinical studies unit. Doctors said her mother and sister also were in the Washington area.
Pham is being treated by staff specializing in infectious disease and critical care. Workers are monitored as they put on and remove protective clothing and nurses are working in pairs in Pham's room, with one watching the other to make sure correct procedures are followed. They also limit the amount of time they spend in her room to reduce fatigue.
At a briefing outside NIH, Fauci was asked whether Pham's condition had changed for the worse since she left Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where she was described as in good condition.
"She's not deteriorating," he said. He said that he couldn't describe the reasons NIH doctors rated her status as "fair" without violating patient confidentiality but that she was fatigued by the journey. Such a condition "implies that she does still have some symptoms," he said.
Dr. Rick Davey, the deputy clinical director of the NIAID's division of clinical research who examined Pham, said she is "doing quite well compared to what we were told about her status at the other hospital."
Fauci said, "We fully intend to have this patient walk out of this hospital."
Pham flew late Thursday from Dallas to Maryland. She was seen walking gingerly down the stairs of the plane to an awaiting ambulance that brought her to the hospital.
In a video shot Thursday in her Dallas hospital room, she is seen smiling as she sits upright in a hospital bed while a man identified as her treating physician can be heard thanking her for getting well and being part of the volunteer team that took care of Duncan, who died of Ebola last week.
"Come to Maryland. Everybody," Pham laughs into the camera before wiping away tears with a tissue handed to her by an attendant in full protective gear.
Associated Press reporter David Dishneau contributed to this story from Frederick, Md.