(ATLANTA) — A second Dallas nurse undergoing treatment for Ebola was released Tuesday from Emory University Hospital after doctors said she had been cured from the deadly virus.
Nurse Amber Vinson, 29, was discharged after spending the last two weeks in Atlanta undergoing treatment in its biocontainment unit.
“I’m so grateful to be well,” Vinson said Tuesday. “First and foremost, I want to thank God,” she said, adding that God gave her the “hope and strength to fight” Ebola.
Vinson also thanked her mother, fiancé and extended family for visiting.
“Family played such an important role in my recovery,” she said. “By being there every minute every day even though you couldn’t be close.”
She also thanked health workers who cared for her and stressed the importance of not losing “focus” on the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Before she left, Vinson hugged more than a dozen staff members, as they smiled, laughed and wished her a safe trip home to Texas.
Dr. Bruce Ribner, medical director of Emory University Hospital’s Infectious Disease Unit, said Vinson is the hospital’s fourth Ebola patient since the outbreak began.
“As fellow members of the health care community, we deeply admire Ms. Vinson’s courage and dedication in caring for a patient with a serious communicable disease,” Ribner said. “Nurses are on the front lines 24 hours a day in treating our patients and it is their skill, their knowledge and their passion for healing that makes one of the critical diff in caring for our patients.”
Vinson had cared for Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, who became the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Duncan died on Oct. 8, and Vinson’s colleague, Nina Pham, 26, was diagnosed with Ebola a few days later. She has since been treated and released.
Vinson took a flight to Ohio and returned to Dallas in the days before she, too, was diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 15. That evening, she was flown to Emory University Hospital. Passengers on both of Vinson’s flights were notified about the ordeal.
“We are overjoyed to announce that, as of yesterday [Oct. 21] evening, officials at Emory University Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control are no longer able to detect virus in her body,” the family said in the statement on Oct. 22, adding that Vinson should be able to leave the isolation unit.
Meanwhile, Dr. Craig Allen Spencer, who tested positive for Ebola last week in New York City a week after traveling home from treating Ebola patients in Guinea, remains in serious but stable condition at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.
Another little boy was tested for Ebola at the hospital Monday after recently traveling from Guinea, but the hospital confirmed that he has tested negative and will be removed from isolation, officials said.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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