Ebola epidemic (illustration)
Ebola epidemic (illustration)Thinkstock

Two nurses infected with Ebola while caring for a dying patient in Dallas have been declared free of the virus, The BBC reported Friday.

One of them, Nina Pham, had a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, hours after being discharged.

"I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," she said. "I am on my way back to recovery."

Pham thanked supporters for their prayers during her illness, and asked for privacy as she plans her return to Texas and a reunion with her dog, Bentley.

She had been treated at a specialist hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, since being flown there from Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas last week.

The other nurse, Amber Vinson, has also been declared virus-free, but she will remain in treatment in Atlanta until further notice.

"Tests no longer detect virus in her blood," a Georgia hospital official said, according to The BBC.

Thomas Duncan died earlier this month and it is still unclear how the nurses contracted the virus while wearing protective clothing.

The news of the two nurses' recoveries comes a day after a new infection, the first in New York.

Dr. Craig Spencer, a New York doctor living in Harlem was diagnosed with Ebola on Thursday, after having returned last week from Guinea where he is thought to have treated patients suffering from the epidemic with Doctors Without Borders.

Spencer, 33, began to feel tired on Tuesday and developed a fever and diarrhea on Thursday, according to the report.

He immediately contacted medical services and was taken to the city's Bellevue Hospital, where he is being kept in isolation.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday evening that the tests had come back positive for Spencer.

The disease has already killed roughly 5,000 people in West Africa, with officials saying the actual number including unreported cases may be much higher and may beset to rise. It has shown a 70% mortality rate, higher than its traditional rate of 50%.

Aside from the cases in the U.S., a UN worker infected with Ebola died last Tuesday after traveling to Liberia to treat the disease. 

There have also been several cases of infected British nationals recorded in Macedonia to the north of Greece, and a Spanish nurse became the first to contract Ebola outside of West Africa two weeks ago.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)