Dallas Ebola nurse Amber Vinson has tested negative for the deadly Ebola virus at Emory Hospital in Atlanta just 9 days after she was diagnosed. Vinson was one of 2 Dallas nurses infected with Ebola after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan who died earlier this month.
Nurse Nina Pham, who was Duncan's primary nurse, was also cleared of the virus this week and will be released from a Maryland facility.
Both Vinson and Pham recovered quicker than other health care workers who were diagnosed in West Africa before returning to the U.S. for treatment.
Doctors believe the nurses recovered quicker because treatment was initiated sooner.
Meanwhile, a doctor who treated Ebola patients in Guinea before returning to the U.S. last week has tested positive for the virus in New York.
Dr. Craig Spencer left Guinea on Oct. 14 and traveled through Europe before arriving in New York on Oct. 17. He told doctors he felt fatigue (weakness) on Oct. 21st. He said he took his temperature twice a day as a precaution.
But rather than quarantine himself for 21 days as the CDC suggests, Spencer went bowling, dined out at a restaurant, and took mass transit the day before he says he spiked a fever of 103.
Spencer told doctors he experienced symptoms of Ebola including pain, nausea and fatigue on Thursday morning. He said he felt "sluggish" on the days leading up to Thursday.
Spencer's story is similar to Vinson, who flew to Cleveland despite knowing she had a fever.
Though there was no risk of Ebola transmission to anyone on mass transit (because the virus is not airborne), the fact that Spencer and Vinson didn't self-isolate after coming in close contact with Ebola patients has many Americans concerned.
The public hysteria surrounding Ebola is similar to, but not as severe, as the panic that gripped the nation during the early days of the HIV pandemic in the 1980s.
People joke about Ebola now, but HIV was no laughing matter back then.
All gay nightclubs and bathhouses were shut down by city governments to prevent the spread of HIV in the 1980s. And Americans worried about catching HIV from toilet seats in public restrooms.
Both HIV and Ebola are transmitted to humans in the same way -- direct contact with infected blood and bodily fluids.
Both virus gain access into the human body via a cut or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth). Neither virus can infect you through intact skin or through the air.
There have been no reports of Ebola or HIV transmission through casual contact (sitting next to an infected person on a bus or plane).
Both HIV and Ebola use our white blood cells to make viral copies which overwhelms our immune systems, making humans more susceptible to secondary viral and bacterial infections.
The difference between Ebola and HIV is that Ebola copies itself inside humans much quicker than HIV.
Ebola wreaks havoc inside blood vessels causing veins and arteries to leak and collapse which leads to uncontrolled bleeding, organ failure and death.
The HIV virus is more insidious and smarter than Ebola in that HIV lives longer by not killing its host as quickly as Ebola does.
The complexity of the HIV virus makes it more difficult to clear because it can hide inside human bodies in levels that can't be detected for years.
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