By Rick Ritter


BETHESDA, Md. (WJZ) — The first patient to contract Ebola on U.S. soil is now in Maryland. The 26-year-old nurse just arrived at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

Rick Ritter has more on the plan to treat infected nurse Nina Pham here in Maryland.

On the tarmac dressed in full hazmat suits, WJZ was there as Nina Pham and health officials landed at the Frederick Airport in Maryland late Thursday night.

The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center is admitting Pham, the first nurse who contracted the Ebola virus at a Texas hospital while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, a patient who died of Ebola.

Pham flew from Dallas to Frederick, and just before she got on the plane, cell phone video showed the emotional nurse inside her hospital room.

Pham will now be entered into a special clinical studies unit at NIH. What looks like a typical room is designed to provide high level isolation and is staffed by infectious disease and critical care specialists.

Workers at NIH say her arrival is the talk of the campus, but understand why she is coming to Bethesda.

“I think people are freaking out about the situation,” one employee said. “I think we have doctors and many people who can take care of the situation. I’m not worried about that.”

Thursday, the Texas hospital released a statement, saying it was the right decision to send the nurse to NIH in Bethesda and it gives them the opportunity to prepare for whatever comes next.

MORE: Dallas Nurse With Ebola Will Be Transferred To Md. Hospital

Pham wasn’t the only nurse to contract the disease from the Dallas hospital. Video shows 29-year-old Amber Vinson and other health officials in hazmat suits boarding a chartered flight from Dallas to Atlanta.

Like Pham, Vinson caught Ebola while treating Duncan. She remains in isolation in Atlanta.

Pham is the second Ebola patient to be treated at NIH. The first was a patient who contracted the disease in Sierra Leone.

In addition to Vinson, another unidentified Ebola patient is also being treated in Atlanta. The man, believed to be a World Health Organization worker, has been there more than a month.

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Rick Ritter

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