Dr. Kent Brantly, who is one of the two U.S. aid workers that contracted the deadly Ebola virus while working in West Africa, landed in the U.S. on Saturday. He then was safely transported to Emory University Hospital to begin treatment.
According to reports, Brantly was able to walk from the ambulance into the Atlanta hospital with some help from a medical assistant. His plane landed at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, GA, and he arrived at Emory University Hospital at 12:30 PM. He was taken by ambulance and had a police escort.
Brantly, a father of two, is expected to by joined by missionary Nancy Writebol soon, who will be taking a later flight. Writebol is the other American who became infected with the Ebola virus while helping the infected in Africa.
No word has been said yet as to what type of treatment Brantly will receive. Dr. Jay Varkey, who is an infectious disease specialist at Emory, said that Brantly will need to be evaluated before a treatment plan can be drawn up.
The Ebola virus currently has no cure or standard treatment procedures, said the World Health Organization. Instead, doctors will have to make sure Brantly’s fluids are up and he is staying well hydrated.
The Ebola virus is transmitted through bodily fluids, notes WHO on their website. There is no cure, and the virus has a fatality rate of 90 percent.
“EVD is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat,” explains WHO on their website.
“This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.”
Both Brantly and Writebol are part of the North Carolina-based Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse. They were helping patients in West Africa fight the deadly Ebola virus when they were infected.
In order to transport the two American citizens back to the U.S., a special jet had to be used. The jet can only carry one person at a time, as it is specially outfitted with tents to contain highly infectious diseases.
The U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in charge of bringing Brantly and Writebol back to the U.S.
“The safety and security of U.S. citizens is our paramount concern,” said the State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, in a statement released Friday morning. “Every precaution is being taken to move the patients safely and securely.”
Writebol is expected to join Brantly soon in Emory University Hospital for treatment, although it is not yet known when exactly that will be.