Ebola-infected American journalist tweets his recovery experience while doctors fight for second Dallas patient
While doctors are fighting for the life of the Dallas nurse who contracted the Ebola virus from an ill patient, a US journalist who was infected in Africa is showing signs of recovery and has promised to live tweet his experience.
Both Nina Pham, a nurse who treated the late Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Presbyterian Hospital, and freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo have received blood transfusions from Kent Brantly, a missionary doctor who survived a bout with Ebola after falling ill in July while working in Liberia. Duncan, who had traveled to Dallas from Liberia, died on Oct. 8 from effects of Ebola, the latest outbreak of which has killed more than 4,000 people in West Africa. Brantly also offered to donate blood to Duncan, but he was not a match, according to reports.
Pham’s transfusion from Brantly, a Texas native and first American survivor of the latest Ebola wave, occurred Monday, according to the Dallas Morning News.
“She’s doing well,” Rev. Jim Khoi, her family priest, told Dallas Morning News. “She’s very comfortable. She’s very supported now. She knows that everybody knew to pray for her, especially in this difficult time.”
Mukpo, 33, who fell ill while working for NBC News in Monrovia, Liberia and was transferred on Oct. 6 to a special Ebola treatment unit in Nebraska, “received an experimental drug as a blood transfusion” from Brantly, according to AFP. Health officials at Nebraska Medical Center said Sunday that his condition was improving.
"Back on Twitter, feeling like I'm on the road to good health," Mukpo wrote on the social media site, under the Twitter handle @unkyoka.
"Will be posting some thoughts this week. Endless gratitude for the good vibes."
Back on twitter, feeling like I'm on the road to good health. Will be posting some thoughts this week. Endless gratitude for the good vibes.
— ashoka (@unkyoka) October 13, 2014
Mukpo added that he is starting a blog called the “Ebola Diaries” where he planned to "compile material from long-term reporter residents of Liberia."
"Now that I've had first hand experience with this scourge of a disease, I'm even more pained at how little care sick west Africans are receiving," Mukpo added.
Now that I've had first hand exp with this scourge of a disease, I'm even more pained at how little care sick west Africans are receiving
— ashoka (@unkyoka) October 13, 2014
On Monday, US health officials announced an update for protocol surrounding care and treatment for Ebola patients in the United States after Pham contracted the virus while caring for Duncan.
“We have to rethink the way we address Ebola infection control, because even a single infection is unacceptable,” US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden said Monday.
As a result, the agency is “doubling down” on outreach and training as it moves to ensure medical staff around the country are prepared for any incoming patients.
CDC officials confirmed Sunday that Pham tested positive for Ebola. She had contact with Duncan the first nine of ten days he was in isolation care at Texas Presbyterian Hospital, according to medical records obtained by AP. After running a fever on Friday, she went to the hospital where she was placed in an isolation unit.
Ebola is transferred via contact with bodily fluids from a disease carrier. Yet Pham wore protective gear - a gown, mask, gloves, and a face shield - while treating Duncan, hospital officials said, according to Dallas Morning News. “Inconsistencies” in the type of gear Pham wore and how she put it on and took it off were cited by an official familiar with the case, CNN reported.
Texas Presbyterian Hospital said around 50 people worked with Duncan, while, citing his medical records, AP reported that about 70 people worked with him. The CDC does not have a complete list of those at the hospital that worked on Duncan, according to reports. The 48 people identified as having contact with Duncan before he was isolated on Sept. 28 have not shown signs of Ebola, according to Dallas Morning News.
One person - identified by some as Pham’s boyfriend - had contact with her after she developed the fever. He is being monitored and has yet to show symptoms of Ebola, said his employer Alcon, a Texas eye-care company, in a news release. Alcon did not identify the person.