By Rick Ritter


BETHESDA, Md. (WJZ) — So far, only three cases of Ebola have been diagnosed on U.S. soil. But after missteps in the initial response and fears over hospitals not being prepared, panic over a possible outbreak is growing.

Rick Ritter has the latest on the Texas nurse infected with Ebola now being treated at NIH in Bethesda.

Nina Pham was admitted to NIH just before midnight Thursday. At last check, doctors say she was in “fair” condition. They’re hoping the infected nurse recovers completely and eventually walks out of the hospital.

More: Maryland Is Taking Precautions To Prevent Spread Of Ebola

After landing in Frederick late Thursday night, doctors say Nina Pham, the first person to contract Ebola in the United States, is resting comfortably at the National Institutes of Health.

“She’s interactive with the staff, she’s eating,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

But her condition went from “good” to “fair” after her flight from Dallas to Frederick.

Just before she left Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, an emotional Pham thanked her doctors. Now she is in the hands of NIH.

“She’s very fatigued. This is a virus that really wreaks havoc on you. We fully intend to have this patient walk out of this hospital,” Dr. Fauci said.

The NIH Clinical Research Center currently has capacity for one more Ebola patient. It’s where researchers are working on an Ebola vaccine.

Amber Vinson, the second nurse to contract Ebola, is being treated at an Atlanta hospital. A lab supervisor who handled a specimen from Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan is quarantined on a cruise ship. She’s shown no signs of infection, but is confined to her cabin until the ship docks.

With growing criticism of the government response, President Obama named a new point person.

“What we were looking for is not an Ebola expert, but rather an implementation expert,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Republicans say the Maryland man has no public health experience.

NIH workers underwent very intense training to handle viruses like Ebola. As far as training additional workers, the hospital says their focus right now is on treating Pham.

More: Fight Against Ebola Goes High-Tech In Md.

Stay with WJZ for complete coverage of the Ebola crisis and the patient now being treated in Maryland.

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Rick Ritter

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