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Ebola Virus Infection FAQ

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Two nurses at a Dallas hospital also caught Ebola after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who later died. The nurses, Nina Pham, 26, and Amber Vinson, 29, both work at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Duncan arrived in the U.S. on Sept. 20 to visit relatives and 10 days later became the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. He died Oct. 8.

Both Pham and Vinson recovered from the virus and have been released from hospitals. No one who had contact with them, including people on flights Vinson took from Cleveland to Dallas and back before being admitted to a hospital, caught Ebola.

In total, five Americans infected with the virus in Africa have been brought back to the U.S. for treatment. All have recovered. The five include aid workers Sacra, Kent Brantly, MD, and Nancy Writebol.

The fourth person was flown back to the U.S. on Sept. 9 for treatment at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, where Brantly and Writebol were also treated. This person's arrival came after the WHO said one of its doctors was being evacuated from Sierra Leone after getting Ebola. The man was released from the hospital Oct. 19. He wants  to remain anonymous, the hospital said.

Mukpo, a freelance cameraman for NBC News, was flown to Omaha on Oct. 6. He was part of a crew covering the outbreak in West Africa. He was released Oct. 22.

Ebola Outbreak Unfolds in Africa

On Aug. 8, the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be a “public health emergency of international concern.” It said “a coordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread” of the virus. 

On Sept. 16, President Barack Obama announced a plan to scale up the nation’s response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Responding to a plea for help from the Liberian government, Obama said the Department of Defense will send personnel there to boost the international response to the outbreak. The U.S. will also build 17 100-bed units to treat Ebola patients.

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