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Ebola-Free: Nurse Amber Vinson Leaves Emory Hospital

Amber Vinson, one of two nurses infected with Ebola while treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan, leaves the hospital today fully cured of the virus.
Image: Amber Vinson
Amber Vinson, 29, the Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola, speaks at a news conference as members of her nursing staff look on after being discharged from Emory University Hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8. Vinson was one of two nurses who became infected while caring for Duncan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)David Goldman / AP

Amber Vinson, one of two nurses infected while treating Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas, leaves Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Tuesday fully cured of her infection.

"I'm so grateful to be well and, first and foremost, I want to thank God," Vinson said at a news conference.

"While this is a day for celebration and gratitude, I ask that we not lose focus on the thousands of families who continue to labor under the burden of this disease in West Africa," Vinson added.

Vinson was diagnosed Oct. 15 and was flown to Emory's special biocontainment unit, where three other patients have been successfully treated: medical missionaries Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, as well as an unidentified World Health Organization doctor. A second infected nurse, Nina Pham, was released from a National Institutes of Health hospital last week.

"After a rigorous course of treatment and thorough testing, we have determined that Miss Vinson has recovered from her infection with Ebola virus and that she can return to her family, her community and to her life without concern that she can transmit this virus to any individual," Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of the serious communicable disease unit at Emory University Hospital, said.

As she left, Vinson hugged each of the two dozen doctors, nurses and technicians arrayed behind the podium who had cared for her.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where Vinson was infected, praised her. "Like many of her colleagues, she made a brave choice to volunteer and provide care for a critically ill Ebola patient," the hospital said in a statement. "That led to a personal fight against the disease, and she is to be commended for her strength and courage. Amber and her fellow caregiver, Nina Pham, are an inspiration for health care workers nationwide, and we at Texas Health Dallas could not be more proud of them."


-- Maggie Fox