Dallas Ebola nurse identified as Nina Pham

Dallas Ebola nurse identified as Nina Pham
Nina Pham spends her days in isolation inside the same hospital where she contracted the Ebola virus working as a critical care nurse. She discusses her care plans with doctors, said a friend who has corresponded with her. She reads, video-chats with her family and keeps in touch with friends through text messages and emails.

“She’s hopeful and just resting,” said the friend, Jennifer Joseph, who until recently worked with Ms. Pham at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. “Not letting the media and all this overwhelm her. She’s just having some time to herself, to be able to read and relax.”

Ms. Joseph called Ms. Pham, 26, a conscientious and careful nurse who double-checked her charts and never seemed to make a mistake, a description that deepens the mystery of how a nurse garbed in gloves, mask and other protective gear contracted the disease from a Liberian man who died last week of Ebola. On Monday, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that Ms. Pham’s positive test for Ebola over the weekend had prompted the agency to “substantially” rethink how it approaches infection control for health officials.

Dr. Frieden also apologized for the wording of his comments of a day earlier, which he said suggested that the nurse had apparently breached safety protocol at the hospital. On Monday, Dr. Frieden said he had not meant to give the impression he was blaming Ms. Pham — whom he did not identify by name — for contracting Ebola.

The diagnosis fanned fears among hospital workers and raised questions about how the authorities have been monitoring health care workers like Ms. Pham who treated or came into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian Ebola victim.

Officials have said that Ms. Pham felt a low-grade fever overnight Friday, and apparently drove herself to the emergency room at Presbyterian, where she was admitted and put into isolation 90 minutes later. Officials said she was in stable condition.

Since local officials announced her positive test for Ebola early on Sunday, the news has resonated through circles of friends who worked with Ms. Pham or studied nursing with her at Texas Christian University, and through the Vietnamese community in Fort Worth, where she grew up. In interviews and news reports, friends have described her as a compassionate and caring nurse who loved her job, was grounded by her Catholic faith and cherished her King Charles spaniel, Bentley, named for her old neighborhood.