(RNS) At least one of two American medical missionaries diagnosed with the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia could be back in the United States as early as this weekend for treatment at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital.

Kent Brantly of Samaritan’s Purse, right, gives orders for medication to administer to the Ebola patients through the doorway of the isolation unit in Liberia. Dr. Brantly spent almost four hours in a Tyvek suit in order to care for the three patients in the unit.

Kent Brantly of Samaritan’s Purse, right, gives orders for medication to administer to the Ebola patients through the doorway of the isolation unit in Liberia. Dr. Brantly spent almost four hours in a Tyvek suit in order to care for the three patients in the unit. Photo courtesy Samaritan's Purse


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The hospital has said only that there are plans for an American aid worker to be transferred to its facilities for treatment, but did not name the patient nor provide an arrival time. A medical transport plane left the United States on Thursday (July 31) headed to Liberia, to pick up at least one of the Americans.

CNN reports, however, that two Americans being airlifted from Liberia — Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol. Both are described as being in grave but stable condition.

Brantly, 33, of Fort Worth, was in Liberia for the North Carolina-based missionary group Samaritan’s Purse to oversee an Ebola treatment center. Writebol, of Charlotte, N.C., was also working at the center on behalf of Service in Mission.

The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention issued a travel warning on Thursday (July 31)  for all non-essential travelers to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in West Africa.

Samaritan’s Purse said in a statement Thursday that it was working to evacuate all but the most essential personnel to their home country by this weekend, although the center will remain open.

Nancy Writebol, a missionary from Charlotte working in West Africa against Ebola, was diagnosed with the virus on July 25, 2014.

Nancy Writebol, a missionary from Charlotte working in West Africa against Ebola, was diagnosed with the virus on July 25, 2014. Photo courtesy SIM

Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Friday (Aug. 1) that more than 60 health care workers have lost their lives in helping treat Ebola patients.

WHO says 729 people have died in the latest outbreak of Ebola in the region.

Sierra Leone has declared a statement of emergency, banning public meetings and sending troops door to door to look for new cases and to quarantine the homes of former patients. Liberia has closed its public schools.

In a meeting with the presidents of the three West African countries, Chan the Ebola outbreak “is moving faster than our efforts to control it.”

If the situation continues to deteriorate, Chan said, “the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives, but also several socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries.”

There is no vaccine nor specific treatment, which has produced a fatality rate of about 60 percent in the latest cases.

A U.S. citizen, Patrick Sawyer, died last week after arriving in Lagos, Nigeria, on a flight from Liberia. Sawyer, a 40-year old consultant with the Liberian Ministry of Finance, is survived by a wife and three children in Coon Rapids, Minn.

Emory Hospital said it has a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases.

The facility, they said, is physically separate from other patient areas of the hospital and is equipped to provide an extremely high level of clinical isolation. Emory’s facility is one of only four of its type in the nation.

CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said he doubted Ebola could spread in the United States. “That is not in the cards,” he told reporters.

(Doug Stanglin writes for USA Today.)

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9 Comments

    • Lles,
      Have you considered a move to Liberia? Don’t worry, have faith, you’ll be fine there. You were made a promise in Mark 16:14-18 remember? Best thing for you, the liberals who went their to help other humans seem to be dying off. Perhaps the promise only applied to the chosen conservative people, like you. Please try that theory out for us, will you? I’m dying to find out if it that promise holds any truth at all. Drop us a line after a year or so and let us know how that worked out for you.

      • ???

        Being a part of a christian group of doctors, Iwould hahave guessed the man conservative relative to secular society.

        You think he is a christian liberal? That sound silly to me even to type it out. By contrast, you think conservatives don’t help people?

        I might call such a generalization hate speech….but im not an emotional buzzword using type of person.

        • Lles, I would expect no Lles (pun intended) of a guess from you as your views are (let me be kind) skewed in a definitive direction (raed all messed up).
          It is an illusion that religion necessarily always coincides with conservatism. Quite the contrary, the Shepard these meek sheep (Christians) follow was extremely liberal. How ironic the loudest members of his flock are juxtaposed to that philosophy.

          You keep screaming about your Liberal (Liberal used as a buzzword) conspiracies, it is what propels your hatred, and appears to be your motivation for living.

          Well, I guess we all have to have some reason, but hate is not a good one.

          Stay well!

          • And you are hate free? A model for me to aspire to?

            You love all…except….who? Fill in the blank.

            And please refraim from bigot, homophobe, racist, hater. That would only means you hate those who don’t share your worldview…which is crux of the liberal/conservative divide.

  1. Sister Geraldine M. Wagner, R.N.

    As a nurse with 44 years experience, the most important thing a health care worker can do is to pay close attention to isolation technique! Any break in technique can introduce the pathogen to the worker and to other people s/he comes into contact with.
    SO PAY ATTENTION AT EVERY MOMENT WHEN GOWNING, GLOVING, WASHING, AND REVERSING THE PROCESS. Have a set routine that you follow each time, every time. For instance, one, wash hands, two, put on gown, etc. Follow this “religiously.”

  2. Jesus told his disciples what would be the sign of his presence and the end of an era. One of these signs was:

    “There will be great earthquakes and in one place after another food shortages and PESTILENCE; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.” (Luke 21: 7,11)

    We are evidently living in the last days because many signs, including pestilence, are taking place now, before God’s kingdom intervenes in man’s affairs and sets all matters right.

    • Fran,

      Why didn’t the world end already, then?
      We have had 341 major pandemics since the days of Jesus.
      Every one of them was larger than this one.

      You imagine Jesus is coming – because Jesus is imaginary.

  3. Might as well send her to Walter Reed Hospital in D.C., she’s probably CIA anyway, as are most missionaries, Spies, rats, proselytizers, co-conspirators in murder, kidnapping and rape; wolves in sheeps’ clothing.

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