US doctor infected with Ebola is improving

2014-08-04 08:25
Dr Kent Brantly. (Dr. Kent Brantly, AP)

Dr Kent Brantly. (Dr. Kent Brantly, AP)

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

Atlanta - An American doctor stricken with the deadly Ebola virus while in Liberia and brought to the United States for treatment in a special isolation ward is improving, the top US health official said on Sunday.

Dr Kent Brantly was able to walk, with help, from an ambulance after he was flown on Saturday to Atlanta, where he is being treated by infectious disease specialists at Emory University Hospital.

"It's encouraging that he seems to be improving, that's really important and we're hoping he'll continue to improve", said Dr Tom Frieden, director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.

Frieden told CBS's "Face the Nation" it was too soon to predict whether Brantly would survive, and a hospital spokesperson said Emory did not expect to provide any updates on the doctor's condition on Sunday.

Brantly is a 33-year-old father of two young children who works for the North Carolina-based Christian organisation, Samaritan's Purse. He was in Liberia responding to the worst Ebola outbreak on record when he contracted the disease.

Since February, more than 700 people in West Africa have died from Ebola, a hemorrhagic virus with a death rate of up to 90% of those infected. The fatality rate in the current epidemic is about 60%.

Frieden told ABC's "This Week" that the CDC was "surging" its response, and that it will send 50 staff to West Africa "to help stop the outbreak in the next 30 days".

Amber Brantly, Dr Brantly's wife, said she was able to see her husband on Sunday and he was in good spirits, and that the family is confident he is receiving the very best care. "He thanked everyone for their prayers", she said in a statement.

A second US aid worker who contracted Ebola alongside him, missionary Nancy Writebol, will be brought to the United States on a later flight. The medical aircraft is equipped to carry only one patient at a time.

Standard treatment for the disease is to provide supportive care. In Atlanta, doctors will try to maintain blood pressure and support breathing, with a respirator if needed, or provide dialysis if patients experience kidney failure, as some Ebola sufferers do.

Confinement

Writebol, a 59-year-old mother of two who worked to decontaminate those entering and leaving an Ebola isolation unit in Liberia, was due to depart for the United States overnight on Monday, Liberia's information minister said.

Writebol's husband, David, who had been living and working in Liberia with his wife, was expected to travel home separately in the next few days, their missionary organisation, SIM USA, said in a statement.

Separately, the charity medical teams international said one of its doctors had placed himself in voluntary confinement after returning to the United States from Liberia on 25 July.

The doctor, Alan Jamison, worked in the same isolation units as Brantly and Writebol, it said, adding that he has no symptoms and that there was no evidence he was exposed to the virus.

The facility at Emory chosen to treat the two infected Americans was set up with CDC and is one of four in the country with the ability to handle such cases.

The CDC has said it is not aware of any Ebola patient having been treated in the United States previously. Five people entered the country in the past decade with either Lassa Fever or Marburg, both hemorrhagic fevers similar to Ebola.

President Barack Obama has said some participants at an Africa summit in Washington this week would be screened for Ebola exposure. The CDC's Frieden said there was no reason to cancel the event.

"There are 50 million travellers from around the world that come to the US each year. We're not going to hermetically seal this country", he told Fox News on Sunday.

Read more on:    cdc  |  liberia  |  us  |  ebola  |  west africa

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.

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
6 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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.