[We will update this story throughout the day.] The condition of Nina Pham, the first Dallas nurse infected with Ebola, has been upgraded to good from fair, the National Institutes of Health announced Tuesday afternoon.
“The NIH has received countless inquiries and expressions of support” for Pham, the NIH said in a statement. “The NIH Clinical Center staff has shared the general sentiments with her and Ms. Pham has expressed her gratitude for everyone’s concerns and well wishes.”
Pham was transferred to NIH in Maryland on Thursday from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
Update, 3:35 p.m.: U.S. announces new travel restrictions for Ebola-afflicted countries
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced new travel restrictions concerning Ebola-afflicted countries earlier today.
Starting tomorrow, all passengers flying to the U.S. from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will have to fly into one of the five airports that has enhanced fever screening measures in place. Those airports are John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
“We are continually evaluating whether additional restrictions or added screening and precautionary measures are necessary to protect the American people and will act accordingly,” U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.
Gov. Rick Perry, among other politicians, has called on the federal government to ban flights coming in and out of West Africa, where the Ebola outbreak has killed more than 3,800 people.
In Dallas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still monitoring 112 people for possible Ebola symptoms. This includes the healthcare workers who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, and later, Nina Pham at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. According to the latest numbers from the CDC, 60 people have finished "active surveillance" for Ebola symptoms.
Update, 12:03 p.m.: Three hospitals partner up for an Ebola treatment facility in North Texas
Gov. Rick Perry announced the creation of an Ebola treatment and biocontainment facility in North Texas. This was one of the first recommendations from the governor’s Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response.
The new facility will be set up and operated by UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Methodist Hospital system and the Parkland Hospital system and will occupy an entire floor at the Methodist Campus for Continuing Care in Richardson. It will be outfitted with physicians experienced in infectious diseases, a modified ICU wing and personal protective equipment.
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has also been designated as an Ebola treatment center.
— Office of Gov Perry (@TexGov) October 21, 2014
Watch Perry's announcement:
Update, 10:45 a.m.: Amber Vinson's mother speaks on ABC's "Good Morning America"
The mother of Amber Vinson, the second Dallas nurse infected with Ebola, went on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to give an update on her daughter's condition.
Debra Berry said the family is relieved new guidelines for treating patients with the virus are now in place, but it was concerning that they weren’t in place sooner.
Watch the interview:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new protective equipment guidelines yesterday, aimed at protecting healthcare workers treating Ebola patients.
Vinson is being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. A friend has set up a GoFundMe page for Vinson to assist the family with the costs of her treatment as well as replacing the personal belongings destroyed from decontaminating her apartment.
Update, 10:15 a.m.: Dallas Animal Services collects samples from infected nurse's dog for Ebola testing
Dallas Animal Services have collected the first samples from Bentley, the one-year-old dog of infected Ebola nurse Nina Pham. Those samples – Bentley’s feces and urine – will be used to test for the Ebola virus.
DAS announced Sunday that they would periodically collected samples from the dog throughout his 21-day quarantine.
There is limited evidence that dogs can carry the Ebola virus, but not show symptoms. It’s not known if dogs become contagious, or if the virus lives in their bodily fluids.
Bentley provided a sample quickly. Pics show vet cleaning up - he was hoping for food! Hope to have results in a wk. pic.twitter.com/LlzbU4Fh9m
— Sana Syed (@dallaspiosana) October 21, 2014
Bentley was moved from Pham’s apartment to Hensley Field Services Center on Oct. 11. The city decided to quarantine the dog, rather than euthanize him. There was worldwide outrage when Spain euthanized the pet dog of a nurse infected with Ebola. Bentley is being cared for by workers wearing protective gear.
“This dog is a significant part of [Nina Pham’s] life and we vowed to her family we would do everything in our power to care for her beloved pet," said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.
DAS workers will collect two more samples from Bentley before his quarantine ends.
For yesterday's developments, check out Monday's Ebola blog.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.