Texas nurse declared Ebola-free; joins six others in US who recovered or in stable condition

Nurses and health-care staff hold a rally in support of their colleagues Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who contracted Ebola, outside the Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Oct 17, 2014. Vinson no longer has the virus, her family said on Wednesday
Nurses and health-care staff hold a rally in support of their colleagues Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who contracted Ebola, outside the Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Oct 17, 2014. Vinson no longer has the virus, her family said on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP, REUTERS) - A Texas nurse infected with Ebola after caring for a Liberian man who died from the disease no longer has the virus, her family said on Wednesday.

A statement from Amber Vinson's family cited by several US media outlets said the 29-year-old would stay in hospital for further treatment but appeared to have eradicated the disease.

"Amber and our family are ecstatic to receive this latest report on her condition," her mother Debra Barry said in the statement.

"We all know that further treatment will be necessary as Amber continues to regain strength, but these latest developments have truly answered prayers and bring our family one step closer to reuniting with her at home."

Vinson is to be transferred to a different unit at Emory University Hospital and is still being treated in the serious communicable diseases unit, her family said.

She is among eight Ebola patients in the United States. One of them - Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan - had died.

Five of them had recovered and had been discharged from hospital - aid worker Dr Kent Brantly and his wife Nancy Writebol, freelance television cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, missionary doctor Rick Sacra, and an American man who had asked to remain anonymous. The unnamed man contracted the virus in Sierra Leone, while the rest were infected in Liberia.

The last patient - nurse Nina Pham who fell sick after caring for Duncan - is reported to be in a stable condition in hospital.

Pham, Mukpo and Dr Sacra had received blood plasma donations from Dr Brantly, the first American to return to the US from Liberia to be treated for Ebola, ABC News reported. Dr Brantly had recovered after receiving an experimental treatment Zmapp.

Plasma is a component of blood that contains virus-fighting proteins called antibodies. Blood transfusions from someone who successfully battled the Ebola virus are believed to be beneficial to Ebola patients.

Dr Brantly said he hasn't been asked to donate blood plasma to Vinson, the nurse who contracted Ebola after caring for Duncan.

He also told ABC News that he could not donate to Duncan because their blood types did not match.

It is unclear if the unnamed American man received blood plasma donation from anyone.