We can stop Ebola - US expert

2014-08-04 05:34

Atlanta - A second American missionary stricken with Ebola is expected to fly Tuesday to the U.S. for treatment, following a colleague who was admitted over the weekend to Emory University Hospital's infectious disease unit.

A Liberian official confirmed to the Associated Press plans for Nancy Writebol to depart with a medical evacuation team. The official, Information Minister Lewis Brown, said the evacuation flight was scheduled to leave West Africa between 01:00 and 01:30 local time on Tuesday.

Writebol is in good spirits despite her diagnosis, said the pastor of her hometown church in Charlotte, North Carolina, who has spoken with her husband, David.

"She is holding her own," the Reverend John Munro said. Munro's Calvary Church is a nondenominational evangelical congregation that sponsors the Writebols as missionaries in Liberia, one of the West African nations grappling with the worst outbreak of Ebola ever recorded there.

Writebol's mission team partner, Dr Kent Brantly, was improving on Sunday after he was admitted to Emory's quarantine unit a day earlier, according to a statement from his wife.

"Our family is rejoicing over Kent's safe arrival, and we are confident that he is receiving the very best care," Amber Brantly said, adding that she was able to see her husband on Sunday.

Brantly and Nancy Writebol served on the same mission team treating Ebola victims when they contracted the virus themselves. Brantly was serving as a physician in the hospital compound near Monrovia, Liberia, when he became infected. They said Writebol worked as a hygienist whose role included decontaminating those entering or leaving the Ebola treatment area at that hospital.

There is no cure for Ebola, which causes haemorrhagic fever that kills at least 60% of the people it infects in Africa. Ebola spreads through close contact with bodily fluids and blood, meaning it is not spread as easily as airborne influenza or the common cold. Africa's under-developed health care system and inadequate infection controls make it easier for the Ebola virus to spread and harder to treat.

Any modern hospital using standard infection-control measures should be able to handle it, according to medical experts, and Emory's infectious disease unit is one of about four in the US that is specially equipped to test and treat people exposed to the most dangerous viruses.

Patients are quarantined, sealed off from anyone who is not in protective gear. Lab tests are conducted inside the unit, ensuring that viruses don't leave the quarantined area. Family members can see and communicate with patients only through barriers.

Brantly arrived on Saturday under stringent protocols, flying from West Africa to Dobbins Air Reserve base outside Atlanta in a small plane equipped to contain infectious diseases. A small police escort followed his ambulance to Emory, where he emerged dressed head to toe in white protective clothing and walked into the hospital on his own power.

A physician from Texas, Brantly is a Samaritan's Purse missionary. The Writebols are working through SIM USA. The two Christian organizations have partnered to provide health care in West Africa.

Munro said the Writebols are "quiet, unassuming people" who "felt called by God" to mission work overseas. They first went to Africa in the late 1990s, he said, working at a home for widows and orphans in Zambia.

"They take the Great Commission literally," Munro said, referring to the scriptural instruction from Jesus Christ to "make disciples of all nations".

Munro recalled speaking with the couple when the Ebola outbreak began. "We weren't telling them to come back; we were just willing to help them come back," he said. "They said, 'The work isn't finished, and it must continue.'"

David Writebol spoke with his home church congregation last week through an Internet audio connection, Munro said. Nancy Writebol "couldn't join the call because of her condition," but the pastor said David Writebol told them his wife was able to walk some on her own.

The outbreak comes as nearly 50 African heads of state come to Washington, DC, for the US-Africa Leaders Summit — billed as a tool for African nations to integrate more into the world economy and community. With the outbreak, however, the presidents of Liberia and Sierra Leone have scrapped their plans to attend the three-day summit opening Monday.

Meanwhile, some airlines that serve West Africa have suspended flights, while international groups, including the Peace Corps, have evacuated some or all of their representatives in the region.

In the US, public health officials continue to emphasise that treating Brantly and Writebol in the US poses no risks to the public here.

"The plain truth is that we can stop Ebola," Dr Tom Frieden, director of the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said, speaking on Sunday on ABC's "This Week. "We know how to control it: hospital infection control and stopping it at the source in Africa."

Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal.

  • Pieter Calitz - 2014-08-04 05:49

    > A second American missionary stricken with Ebola Now god is targeting missionaries.

      Anthoula Joshua - 2014-08-04 06:24

      God does not target. They are Christians doing God's work and therefore not afraid. Amen

      Reality - 2014-08-04 06:55

      > A second American missionary stricken with Ebola Note that this was the second case. Therefor god must be targeting them. It is probably the Muslim god (Allah) that is doing this because he is jealous of Jahweh.

      Reality - 2014-08-04 06:57

      @Anthoula Joshua wrote..God does not target How do you know? Does it say so in the Bible? Or do you just assume that?

      Reality - 2014-08-04 09:06

      > God does not target God targeted in the Old Testament. Why would he not target now?

      ckrums - 2014-08-04 10:04

      Reality; you're a sick man bru. The Christians are there risking there lives to help people and you use it as an opportunity to slander?

      Lynette de Bruin - 2014-08-04 10:12

      @Reality: What are you trying to get at? The missionaries work in these countries trying to help, thus they get in contact with the infected patients which makes the spreading of Ebola possible. The virus does not ask who you are before infecting the person? You might as well say that God is also targeting Africa, doctors and medical personnel? And who ever comes close to the epidemic. Really?

      Reality - 2014-08-04 11:47

      @crums wrote.. Reality; you're a sick man bru. The Christians are there risking there lives to help people and you use it as an opportunity to slander Whom did I slander? You? Who?

      Reality - 2014-08-04 11:49

      > You might as well say that God is also targeting Africa, doctors and medical personnel? Maybe he is? Do you have evidence that he is not?

      Reality - 2014-08-04 11:50

      Definition:slander - the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation Which false statement did I make?

      Reality - 2014-08-04 12:11

      ..and which person's reputation did I damage?

  • Hope Field - 2014-08-04 06:15


  • Bruwer - 2014-08-04 06:22

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control owns a patent on a particular strain of Ebola known as "EboBun." It's patent No. CA2741523A1 and it was awarded in 2010. Big pharma is going to make lots of many with vaccines

      Reality - 2014-08-04 06:50

      So is this a cure for this strain or is it used to target missionaries?

      Bruwer - 2014-08-04 07:03

      The missionaries are just in contact with more people , therefore higher change to get infected , and the US are flying them home to get more patents on the strains. Add to that the fear mongering of the media in the US , soon everyone will line up for a vaccine

      Reality - 2014-08-04 07:06

      > The missionaries are just in contact with more people Do you have any evidence that god is not targeting them?

      Bruwer - 2014-08-04 07:12

      With you on the god subject , so I prefer logic as to why they are infected

      Robertdavid - 2014-08-04 08:19

      Yip and save lots of lives. Aschloch.

  • James Santam - 2014-08-04 07:05

    Why do these western doctors risk their lives for a bunch of ungrateful racists who criticize whites and the west at every opportunity they get? Let Africans solve their own problems or live in their own rot that they have created.

      Charles Komane - 2014-08-04 07:27

      Whites secretely experiment using the same racists u refering to.

      Thandeka Chifamba - 2014-08-04 07:30

      Lets hope you are saying this from outside of Africa. Learn to distinguish between political and humanitarian issues not everyone is a politician and it seems like you are the actual racist

      Robertdavid - 2014-08-04 08:18

      Amen. What liars black racists are. Whiteman to the rescue AGAIN !

  • Mbuso Nhleko - 2014-08-04 07:57

    US owning a patent(inventing patent) for a deadly virus worries me. It just implies some scary things.

  • anina.naude - 2014-08-04 07:59

    Eeny meeny miny mo..... Who is next??

  • ashely.ash.39 - 2014-08-04 08:12

    James Santam really, seriously. You got issues bro. Really big issues

  • Mabasa Jo Kapeta - 2014-08-04 08:25

    @james santam u jus one disgusting racist hopefully u are not the one who works for santam aviation here in Africa.

      James Santam - 2014-08-04 08:45

      Does the west ever need aid from Africa? No, they sort their own things out. Problem with African countries is that they are farked up by black governments who can't even run a effing chicken coup. They create an environment for this to happen so they must sort their own sh!!t out or perish. That is the law of nature. There is no sense in trying to save something that has no value to the world.

  • Senzi Khambule - 2014-08-04 08:48

    Are we gonna use politics every where after all this issue affects all of us. Thought the so called "whites" were clever but shame this shows that apartheid will never be over. Please note a black man is on to the next one #watch out

  • Mfumbayelangabi Silwane - 2014-08-04 11:29

    Who can stop Ebola,better than the person who made it?

  • Moi - 2014-08-04 13:58

    Regardless their religious affiliation, they left all the comforts of home, their families and friends, to go and help those less fortunate. That's extremely admirable and I wish them a speedy recovery.

  • Tina Butler - 2014-08-04 15:58

    Why is there no cure for it after all these years? I suppose because Africa does not count high on the priority list of famous world pharmaceutical money grabbing corporates.

  • Jay Dillon - 2014-08-05 07:58

    Don't you know there is a cure for Ebola that has been used on the two USAmerican doctors? It is called a "secret cure" but is known to use "monoclonal antibodies." Apparently it was not supposed to be divulged or revealed to anyone. This type of cure or treatment was found in 2010 if not earlier. Don't say there is no cure when the cure is now available although it is "secret." Reference: 8/4/2014 news reports from ABC World News and CNN Headline News.

  • pages:
  • 1