Security tight for chimp attack victim

July 2, 2009 at 8:26 PM

CLEVELAND, July 2 (UPI) -- A woman disfigured in an attack by a friend's pet chimpanzee is getting the same level of security at the Cleveland Clinic as a foreign leader, officials said.

No one can enter Charla Nash's room alone, Randy Stephan, director of protective services, told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. That goes for everyone from medical staff to food service workers, and a police officer outside her door enforces the restriction, aimed at making sure no one uses a cell phone to get a picture.

Stephan said the same precautions, including the "two-person rule," are used for celebrities, foreign dignitaries and any patients where there is intense media interest.

Nash, 55, of Connecticut, was transferred to the clinic in February, three days after the chimpanzee ripped off her hands and mutilated her face. She is expected to need two years of treatment, including numerous surgeries.

The clinic said this week her condition had been upgraded to stable.

Security surrounding Nash began when she arrived in an unmarked ambulance. Intersections on the clinic grounds and hallways in the building where she is housed were cleared before she was brought in.

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