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Nurse Treated For Ebola To Sue Texas Hospital

Nina Pham, 26, who became the first person to contract Ebola within the United States, tells the <em>Dallas Morning News</em> that she worries about continued health issues and will sue the hospital where she contracted Ebola.

Nurse Nina Pham tells the Dallas Morning News that while she is Ebola free, she suffers residual effects from contracting the disease from a patient she cared for last fall at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Pham's patient, Thomas Eric Duncan,was the first person in the United States diagnosed with Ebola. Duncan contracted Ebola in Liberia and later traveled to Dallas.

Pham, 26, was the first person to contract Ebola on U.S. soil.

Pham tells the paper in an interview published Saturday that she will file a lawsuit Monday in Dallas County against Texas Health Resources, the parent company of the Dallas hospital where she worked. She says the hospital lacked proper training and proper equipment.

She also says the hospital violated her privacy — making her "a symbol of corporate neglect — a casualty of a hospital system's failure to prepare for a known and impending medical crisis."

Texas Health Resources responded to the article with a statement from spokesman Wendell Watson.

"Nina Pham bravely served Texas Health Dallas during a most difficult time. We continue to support and wish the best for her, and we remain optimistic that constructive dialogue can resolve this matter."

In October, Texas Health Resources issued a a full-page letter published in the Dallas Morning News saying it was "deeply sorry" for missing the Ebola diagnosis of Thomas Duncan.

Pham wants unspecified damages for physical pain and mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of future earnings.

She was treatedat the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Before heading back to Texas, Pham met President Obama at the White House, where he embraced her.

She had hugged Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, earlier in the day. The embrace was as much to combat the stigma surrounding the deadly virus as to celebrate her being free of Ebola.

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Doreen McCallister
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
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