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Embattled Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director, Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters during a press conference Tuesday that the CDC had deployed an Ebola response team of their most experienced staff to Dallas to work with state’s health department and the hospital where Nina Pham, 26, a Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, is being treated after testing positive for the disease.
The team will include experts in personal protective equipment, laboratory science, infection control, experimental therapies, public education and environmental controls.
“I wish we put team like this [in place] when first the patient was diagnosed,” said Frieden. “We will do it from this day forward anywhere in the U.S.”
In the meantime, National Nurses United criticized the Dallas hospital saying that protocols to protect workers were not in place. Moreover in a conference call with reporters Tuesday, they said that several nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian complained of confusion in the days after an Ebola patient was diagnosed there, putting nurses at risk, and that there was little training as well.
“There was no advance preparedness on what to do with the patient, there was no protocol, there was no system,” the group said in a statement.
This is what the Dallas hospital had to say: “Patient and employee safety is our greatest priority and we take compliance very seriously. We have numerous measures in place to provide a safe working environment, including mandatory annual training and a 24-7 hotline and other mechanisms that allow for anonymous reporting,” Texas Health Presbyterian said in a statement.
Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who contracted Ebola while treating a Liberian patient who died of the disease, issued a statement Tuesday saying that she is “doing well.” “I’m doing well and want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers. I am blessed by the support of family and friends and am blessed to be cared for by the best team of doctors and nurses in the world here at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas,” she said in her statement.
Pham received a transfusion of blood Sunday from Dr. Kent Brantly, the Fort Worth doctor who recovered from Ebola in Atlanta after contracting the virus while working as a missionary in Liberia.