Atlanta hospital to accept Ebola patients
There's a plan to bring two Ebola patients back to the United States, including a doctor with ties to Indiana.
Dr. Kent Brantly contracted Ebola while treating patients in Liberia. A nurse who works with him, Nancy Writebol, is also fighting for her life after coming down with the virus.
An experimental serum was sent to them but there was only enough for one person. Dr. Brantly insisted that the nurse receive the medicine.
Emory University Hospital in Atlanta is preparing to accept one of the patients infected with Ebola. Hospital officials say the patient will be kept in a special isolation unit developed with the CDC, one of only four units like it in the country, with a staff well equipped to handle treating patients with highly infectious diseases like Ebola.
The Medevac plane is specially equipped, designed to carry patients who must remain isolated. At Atlanta's Emory University Hospital, staffers are preparing the special isolation unit for the patient's arrival.
Government officials told NBC News the first of the two patients is scheduled to arrive at Dobbins Air Force Reserve Base on Saturday.
Emory officials emphasize the unit is "physically separate from other patient areas" with equipment providing "an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation." Experts say the staff is well prepared:
"This team has been trained in how to use the personal protective equipment and to take special precautions to avoid any potential exposures," said Dr. Eileen Farnon, infectious disease expert, Temple University.
The relief agency Samaritan's Purse reports both Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly are in "stable but grave" condition. Brantly is an Indiana University graduate.
The agency's head, Franklin Graham, said Brantly refused an experimental serum after learning there was only one dose, insisting that it be given to Writebol.
"I'm just as proud of him as I can possibly be," said Graham.
Brantly's wife issued a statement saying, "I remain hopeful and believing that Kent will be healed from this dreadful disease."
Also on their way back to the U.S. are hundreds of Peace Corps volunteers evacuated from West Africa.
Shreyan Sen just finished his Peace Corps mission in Guinea on July 20th. He says he's concerned for his local friends in Guinea who have no way out of the country:
"I'm on edge that someone I know someone could contract Ebola and die," he said.
The CDC has issued a Level 3 travel advisory, the highest they have for travel to the countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. At the same time they announced a surge in their own efforts They're sending a 50-person team over to the region. This effort to contain Ebola is turning into a wide-scale international operation.