Following three consecutive blood tests that all came back negative for the Ebola virus, Dallas nurse Amber Vinson reportedly no longer has the deadly virus, according to a statement released by her family.
“We are overjoyed to announce that, as of yesterday evening, officials at Emory University Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control are no longer able to detect [the] virus in her body,” the statement reads. Vinson contracted Ebola after working closely with now-deceased Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan. Amber is one of two nurses at the Dallas, Texas hospital where Duncan was being treated to contract the virus. The 42 year-old is currently the only person to have died of Ebola in the U.S.
Vinson, 29, has been in isolation at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta since being diagnosed a week ago. Amber and her colleague Nina Pham were both in close contact with the deceased patient throughout the course of his treatment in Dallas, mostly handling his bodily fluids. Pham has been in Bethesda, MD at the NIH Clinical Center since being diagnosed and her condition was recently upgraded to “good.”
News of Amber Vinson’s diagnosis caused panic among many after officials learned that the nurse flew to Cleveland for a weekend during the period of time in which she was caring for Thomas Eric Duncan. Vinson reportedly checked with the CDC before flying and was cleared to make the trip.
Vinson’s mother released a statement of her own following the news of her daughter testing negative for Ebola. “Amber and our family are ecstatic to receive this latest report on her condition,” Debra Berry says. “We all know that further treatment will be necessary as Amber continues to regain strength, but these latest developments have truly answered prayers and bring our family one step closer to reuniting with her at home.”
Friends and colleagues of Vinson recently spoke to People Magazine, commenting on their friend’s bravery and acknowledging the criticism directed by many towards Amber and her family over her decision to travel while caring for an Ebola-infected man.
“She’s infected for doing something so selfless. We should be applauding her courage,” one friend of Vinson tells People.
“It wasn’t just her job,” Amber’s former classmate said. “It was her calling to help this person.”
The test results come following news that 50 people who were in close contact with Duncan after he flew to the U.S. have been cleared from monitoring. A senior CDC official has said that the number of people at risk for contracting the virus is “decreasing each day.”
Amber Vinson has not yet been released from the hospital but has been moved to a less isolated room.
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