Newly released Dallas nurse Nina Pham meets with Obama

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Newly released Dallas nurse Nina Pham meets with Obama
Newly Ebola-free nurse Nina Pham & her (also Ebola-free) dog Mr Bentley were reunited today http://t.co/MvGtkNaDEO http://t.co/QsPqXr2wQu
Nina Pham and her 1-year-old King Charles Spaniel had a heart-wrenching, tail-wagging reunion http://t.co/52Su7f4kHF http://t.co/M1K6VU7zhm
This Oct. 20, 2014 photo provided via Twitter by the City of Dallas and Dallas Animal Services shows Bentley, the King Charles Spaniel while having a sample collected for Ebola testing, in Dallas. The first Ebola test for Bentley, who was quarantined after his owner, Nina Pham, was diagnosed with Ebola, has come back negative. The city of Dallas said that the one-year-old will be tested again before his 21-day quarantine period ends Nov. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/City of Dallas and Dallas Animal Services)
This Oct. 13, 2014, photo released via Twitter by the City of Dallas Public Information Managing Director Sana Syed shows Bentley in Dallas, the one-year-old King Charles Spaniel belonging to Nina Pham, the nurse who contracted Ebola. Bentley has been taken from Pham's Dallas apartment and will be cared for at an undisclosed location. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Sana Syed/PIO, City of Dallas)
This Oct. 22, 2014, photo provided via Twitter by the City of Dallas and Dallas Animal Services shows Bentley, the King Charles Spaniel who was quarantined after his owner, Nina Pham, was diagnosed with Ebola, in Dallas. The first Ebola test for Bentley has come back negative. The city of Dallas said that the one-year-old will be tested again before his 21-day quarantine period ends Nov. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/City of Dallas and Dallas Animal Services)
Nina Pham, 26, who became the first person to contract the disease within the United States. Federal officials declared her free of the deadly virus on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014.
President Barack Obama hugs Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in Washington. Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital is free of the virus. The 26-year-old Pham arrived last week at the NIH Clinical Center. She had been flown there from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Pham's mother Diana, center, and sister Cathy watch. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
This 2010 photo provided by tcu360.com, the yearbook of Texas Christian University, shows Nina Pham, 26, who became the first person to contract the disease within the United States. Records show that Pham and other health care workers wore protective gear, including gowns, gloves, masks and face shields and sometimes full-body suits when caring for Thomas Eric Duncan. (AP Photo/Courtesy of tcu360.com)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: U.S. President Barack Obama gives a hug to Dallas nurse Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House October 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. Pham, a nurse who was infected with Ebola from treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and was first diagnosed on October 12, was declared free of the virus on Friday. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama hugs Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital is free of the virus. The 26-year-old Pham arrived last week at the NIH Clinical Center. She had been flown there from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Pham's mother Diana, center, and sister Cathy Pham watch. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Barack Obama meets with Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital is free of the virus. The 26-year-old Pham arrived last week at the NIH Clinical Center. She had been flown there from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: (L-R) U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with Dallas nurse Nina Pham as Pham's mother Diana and sister Cathy look on in the Oval Office of the White House October 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. Pham, a nurse who was infected with Ebola from treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and was first diagnosed on October 12, was declared free of the virus on Friday. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Dallas nurse Nina Pham (C) as Pham's mother Diana (2R) and sister Cathy (R) smile in the Oval Office of the White House October 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. Pham, a nurse who was infected with Ebola from treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and was first diagnosed on October 12, was declared free of the virus on Friday. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Dallas nurse Nina Pham (C) flanked by mother Diana (2R) and sister Cathy (R) and medical staff in the Oval Office of the White House October 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. Pham, a nurse who was infected with Ebola from treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and was first diagnosed on October 12, was declared free of the virus on Friday. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 24: Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci (2nd L) hugs Nina Pham (5th L), the nurse who was infected with Ebola from treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan, as Pham's mother Diana (R) and sister Cathy (4th L), and Director of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins (L) look on at the end of a news briefing at National Institutes of Health October 24, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland. Pham, who first diagnosed on October 12, was declared free of the virus on Friday. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 24: Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci (2nd L) hugs Nina Pham (3rd L), the nurse who was infected with Ebola from treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan, as Pham's mother Diana (6th L) and sister Cathy (4th L), and Director of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins (L) look on at the end of a news briefing at National Institutes of Health October 24, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland. Pham, who first diagnosed on October 12, was declared free of the virus on Friday. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 24: Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci (L) comes out of the building with Nina Pham (2nd L), the nurse who was infected with Ebola from treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan, for a news briefing at National Institutes of Health October 24, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland. Pham, who first diagnosed on October 12, was declared free of the virus on Friday. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Patient Nina Pham smiles as she speaks outside of National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md., Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital is free of the virus. The 26-year-old Pham arrived last week at the NIH Clinical Center. She had been flown there from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
This Oct. 22, 2014, photo provided via Twitter by the City of Dallas and Dallas Animal Services shows Bentley, the King Charles Spaniel who was quarantined after his owner, Nina Pham, was diagnosed with Ebola, in Dallas. The first Ebola test for Bentley has come back negative. The city of Dallas said that the one-year-old will be tested again before his 21-day quarantine period ends Nov. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/City of Dallas and Dallas Animal Services)
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas staff line the drive that exits the emergency room as they wait for an ambulance carrying Nina Pham to depart, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Dallas. Pham, a nurse at the hospital was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan who died of the same virus. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas staff line the drive that exits the emergency room as they wait for an ambulance carrying Nina Pham to depart, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Dallas. Pham, a nurse at the hospital was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan who died of the same virus. Amber Vinson, another nurse diagnosed, was taken to a similar location in Atlanta yesterday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Medical staff in protective gear escort Nina Pham, exiting the ambulance, to a nearby aircraft at Love Field, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Dallas. Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan who died of the same virus. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Medical staff in protective gear escort Nina Pham, exiting the ambulance in yellow, to a nearby aircraft at Love Field, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Dallas. Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan who died of the same virus. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
An official steps off of a plane before nurse Nina Pham exits at Frederick Municipal Airport, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Frederick, Md. Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan before he died of the same virus. She will be transported to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A plane with nurse Nina Pham aboard sits on a tarmac at Frederick Municipal Airport, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Frederick, Md. Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan before he died of the same virus. She will be transported to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A plane with nurse Nina Pham aboard taxis on a tarmac after arriving at Frederick Municipal Airport, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Frederick, Md. Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan before he died of the same virus. She will be transported to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
This Oct. 20, 2014 photo provided via Twitter by the City of Dallas and Dallas Animal Services shows Bentley, the King Charles Spaniel while having a sample collected for Ebola testing, in Dallas. The first Ebola test for Bentley, who was quarantined after his owner, Nina Pham, was diagnosed with Ebola, has come back negative. The city of Dallas said that the one-year-old will be tested again before his 21-day quarantine period ends Nov. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/City of Dallas and Dallas Animal Services)
This Oct. 13, 2014, photo released via Twitter by the City of Dallas Public Information Managing Director Sana Syed shows Bentley in Dallas, the one-year-old King Charles Spaniel belonging to Nina Pham, the nurse who contracted Ebola. Bentley has been taken from Pham's Dallas apartment and will be cared for at an undisclosed location. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Sana Syed/PIO, City of Dallas)
Father Jim Khoi prays the rosary at the Our Lady of Fatima Church where the family of nurse Nina Pham attend, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. Pham, 26, became the first person to contract Ebola within the United States. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
FILE - In a Sept. 17, 2014 file photo, Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, former Medical Director of Samaritan's Purse Ebola Care Center in Monrovia, Liberia, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations during a hearing on Ebola on Capitol Hill in Washington. Brantly went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014 to donate the plasma to nurse Nina Pham who is being treated for Ebola. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, checks a teleconference hookup before a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, as top U.S. health officials appeared before a House panel looks for answers about the Ebola outbreak. Fauci announced to lawmakers that the first nurse stricken in the U.S., Nina Pham, who contracted Ebola after treating a Liberian man in Dallas, was being flown to the National Institutes of Health outside Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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BETHESDA, Md. (AP) -- A nurse who caught Ebola while caring for a Dallas patient who died of the disease walked out of a Washington-area hospital virus-free Friday and into open arms.

Nina Pham got a hug from President Barack Obama in the Oval Office at the White House. Outside the hospital where she has been since last week, she got hugs from one of the doctors who oversaw her care.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the meeting with Obama "an opportunity for the president to thank her for her service." But the close contact between the president and the former patient also came as officials in New York tried to calm fears after a doctor was diagnosed with Ebola in that city.

Pham said she felt "fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," as she left the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where she had been since she arrived Oct. 16 from Dallas' Texas Presbyterian Hospital.

Pham thanked her health care teams in Dallas and at the NIH and singled out fellow Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, who recovered after becoming infected in Liberia, for donating plasma containing Ebola-fighting antibodies as part of her care.

"Although I no longer have Ebola, I know it may be a while before I have my strength back," Pham said at a news conference.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the NIH and the doctor who hugged her, told reporters that five consecutive tests showed no virus left in her blood. Five tests is way beyond the norm, he stressed, but his team did extra testing because the NIH is a research hospital.

"She is cured of Ebola, let's get that clear," Fauci said.

Pham stood throughout the approximately 20-minute press conference and was joined by her mother and sister. She read from a prepared statement and took no questions, but she called her experience "very stressful and challenging for me and for my family."

"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," she said, drawing laughter with the mention of her 1-year-old King Charles spaniel. Bentley has been in quarantine since Pham's diagnosis but has tested negative for the virus.

Pham is one of two nurses in Dallas who became infected with Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, who traveled to the United States from Liberia and died of the virus Oct. 8. The second nurse, Amber Vinson, is being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which on Friday issued a statement saying she "is making good progress" and that tests no longer detect virus in her blood.

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Associated Press writers Lauran Neergaard and Jim Kuhnhenn in Washington contributed to this report.

Nurse Nina Pham Has Been Declared Free of Ebola
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