Dallas Nurse With Ebola 'Conscientious and Careful'

Nina Pham gets blood from US Ebola survivor
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2014 4:21 AM CDT
Dallas Nurse With Ebola 'Conscientious and Careful'
This 2010 photo provided by tcu360.com, the yearbook of Texas Christian University, shows Nina Pham, 26, who became the first person to contract the disease within the United States.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of tcu360.com)

Colleagues describe Nina Pham, the nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Duncan, as not just compassionate, but extremely careful, which makes it more of a mystery how she became infected. A friend and fellow nurse tells the New York Times that Pham is very committed to her profession and often asks herself, "What would I do if this [were] my mom, dad, or grandparent?" when treating a patient. For now, the 26-year-old is resting in isolation and "not letting the media and all this overwhelm her," the friend—who's confident that Pham will pull through—says. "She's just having some time to herself."

A family friend tells CNN that Pham's devoutly Catholic family is known for helping others. "They always helped other people and they take pride in helping other people," he says. "That's what this family's all about." Pham has received blood from American Ebola survivor Kent Brantly, and although her apartment has been sterilized, her dog has been placed in care instead of being put down, the New York Daily News reports. CDC chief Dr. Tom Frieden, who says the infection happened after a "breach of protocol," clarified his remarks yesterday to stress that he wasn't blaming the nurse. "This is a very brave person who put herself at risk to do something good for society and is now ill," he said. (More Nina Pham stories.)

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