Updated 11:55 PM EST, Fri, Jan 22, 2021

Ebola Virus 2014 Outbreak News Update: Nina Pham to be Reunited With Dog

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Dallas nurse Nina Pham has fully recovered from an Ebola infection and will finally been reunited with her dog, Bentley.

According to Sana Syed, Dallas City spokesperson via Dallas News, the 1-year-old King Charles Spaniel is undergoing a 21-day quarantine and has so far tested negative for the virus. Bentley will remain in isolation until Nov. 1 and when cleared, will have his reunion with the Texas Health Presbyterian nurse on Saturday.


"I ask for my privacy and for my family's privacy to be respected as I return to Texas and try to get back to a normal life and reunite with my dog Bentley," quoted NBC DFW of Pham during a news conference on Friday.

Two weeks after testing positive for Ebola, Pham was released from the National Institutes of Health in Maryland last week and hasn't seen her dog since her return to Dallas on Oct. 24. 

Bentley was removed from Pham's apartment after the medical professional was diagnosed with the disease and placed in isolation. Bentley was taken from the residence by authorities in protective suits to check for signs of infection.

Syed shares that Pham will pick up Bentley and meet with those who have cared for her dog over the last three weeks and briefly speak with the media. "Nina said it's clear how much the public cares about the dog and about seeing a happy ending," said Syed.

Nina is the first person to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus in the United States. Presently, there is no cure for the virus but during the nurse's meeting with President Barack Obama, Pham acknowledged the work of the NIH team and thanked Dr. Kent Brantly, an Ebola survivor, who donated plasma to her. 

Mice Resistance Key To Cure? 

People have been reacting differently to the Ebola Virus. Some become gravely ill immediately, others become ill but eventually recover while there are those who seem to be resistant to the virus. 

Researchers are now working with mice following observations that these animals also display a wide range of responses to Ebola indicating that there's a possibility that genetics could play a role in the outcome of Ebola infections.

The study, published by the journal Science, is "a significant advance," quoted the NY Times of Dr. James Musser, director of the Center for Molecular and Translational Human Infectious Diseases Research at Houston Methodist Research Institute. 

According to the doctor, "Using mice in experiments, he said, can change the nature of Ebola research. Until now, investigators have mostly used macaques, guinea pigs, and Syrian hamsters because the mouse strain they usually study does not get an Ebola infection that mimics how human patients react."

He adds that focus on this area could be the key to invaluable information on vaccines and potential drugs. 

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