4th American with Ebola to be flown to US for care

2014-09-09 08:36
(file, AP)

(file, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Atlanta - A fourth American who contracted Ebola in West Africa was expected to arrive in the US for care on Tuesday and will be treated at an Atlanta hospital where two other aid workers successfully recovered from the disease, the hospital said on Monday.

Air Force spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel James Wilson said the patient, as in past cases, would be flown into Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta.

Emory University Hospital said in a news release that the patient would be treated there but cited confidentiality in not releasing more information about the person.

The World Health Organisation, however, said one of its doctors who has been working in an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone has tested positive for the disease. It said the doctor was in stable condition Monday in Freetown and will be evacuated. The State Department said the doctor was from the US.

Experimental treatments

Last month, two aid workers who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia were treated successfully at Emory. A third patient, an American doctor, who is being treated in Nebraska, appeared to be better tolerating his experimental treatments on Monday, but his recovery remains uncertain.

The family of Dr Rick Sacra said he was able to eat breakfast Monday for the first time since arriving Friday at the Nebraska Medical Centre in Omaha.

The 51-year-old remains in stable condition. But his wife, Debbie, said Sacra is more alert and that they had a half-hour conversation by video conference on Sunday.

"He hasn't been able to eat much since he got here, but he had some toast and apple sauce," Debbie Sacra said. "He also tolerated the research drug well — better than he had the previous doses he was given."

Rick Sacra, a doctor from Worcester, Massachusetts, spent 15 years working at the Liberia hospital where he fell ill. He was practicing family medicine in Liberia with the North Carolina-based charity SIM.

Authorities say roughly 2 100 people have died during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but Ebola hasn't been confirmed as the cause of all those deaths.

Isolation units

Sacra is being treated with an experimental drug that is different than the one given to the two Americans treated for Ebola at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Nancy Writebol, who also worked for the SIM mission, and Dr Kent Brantly, who worked for another missionary group, Samaritan's Purse, in Liberia, have recovered.

Sacra came to Omaha instead of Atlanta because federal officials asked the medical centre to treat him in order to prepare other isolation units to take more Ebola patients if needed.

Sacra's doctors have refused to name the drug they are using, but they say they've been consulting with experts on Ebola on his treatment.

Dr Aneesh Mehta of Emory University said on Monday that it was impossible to know if the experimental ZMapp they received worked.

But Mehta said Emory doctors have been advising other physicians that some particular types of supportive care did seem to help. Those included switching between different types of IV fluids to meet each patient's specific electrolyte needs at the time. And giving high-quality liquid nutrition to boost their levels of protein and other nutrients "to help build back that immune system that was under attack".

Vaccines for Ebola

Mehta and other experts were discussing Ebola at the American Society for Microbiology meeting on Monday.

Pharmaceutical companies are developing vaccines for Ebola and drugs to help treat the virus, but they're not fully tested or readily available yet.

Dr. Gary Kobinger of the Public Health Agency of Canada helped pioneer the research that led to ZMapp, and he said the US manufacturer appears to be on track for a Phase 1 safety study early next year, perhaps as early as January, although no drug is available currently.

On the vaccine front, Kobinger said a Canadian-made candidate should be starting Phase 1 trials within weeks.

WHO has suggested turning to the blood of Ebola survivors as an experimental treatment, and Sacra's doctors have said they are considering that.

Read more on:    us  |  sierra leone  |  health  |  west africa  |  ebola

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.