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Friday, 1 August 2014

US Citizens Infected With Ebola Evacuated Home, Americans Express Fears 

The fear began just after news broke Thursday that a long-range business jet with an isolation pod left the United States for Liberia, where it will evacuate two Americans infected with Ebola.

Twitter exploded with questions about the deadly virus, which according to the World Health Organization is believed to have killed hundreds in four West African nations. And with reaction to news that two infected Americans would soon be on their way back to the United States.
Why are they doing this? Robin Hunter asked in a post on Twitter.
While U.S. officials have remained mum on the issue, a source told CNN that a medical charter flight left from Cartersville, Georgia, on Thursday evening.
A nurse disinfects the waiting area at the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, on Monday, July 28. Health officials say an Ebola outbreak centered in West Africa is the deadliest ever. As of July 23, 1,201 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are thought to have been infected by Ebola since its symptoms were first observed four months ago, according to the World Health Organization. (Photo Credit: EPA)
A CNN crew saw the plane depart shortly after 5 p.m. ET. The plane matched the description provided by the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
It was not immediately known when the two Americans identified by the source as Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol would arrive in the United States, or where the plane would land.
At least one of the two will be taken to a hospital at Emory University, near the headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, hospital officials told CNNs Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
The @emory isolation unit is physically separate from other patient areas. Abt to receive patient with #Ebola. 1st time in US history.
— Dr. Sanjay Gupta (@drsanjaygupta) July 31, 2014
The patient will be cared for in an isolation unit at the hospital that is separate from patient areas, Gupta said.
With the return of Brantly and Writebol to the United States, it will be the first time that patients diagnosed with Ebola will be known to be in the country.
Brantly and Writebol are described as being in stable-but-grave conditions, with both reportedly taking a turn for the worse overnight, according to statements released Thursday by the faith-based charity Samaritans Purse.
No known cure
There is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola, which the World Health Organization says is believed to have infected 1,323 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria between March and July 27.
Of those suspected cases, it is believed to have been fatal in at least 729 cases, according to the health organization.
In the United States, the National Institutes of Health announced it will begin testing an experimental Ebola vaccine in people as early as September.
The federal agency has been working on the vaccine over the last few years and says theyve seen positive results when they tested it on primates.
The NIH announcement came the same day as the CDC issued a Level 3 alert for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, warning against any nonessential travel to the region.
As of now, the outbreak has been confined to West Africa. But it could spread via travel, especially since people who have Ebola may not know it; symptoms usually manifest two to 21 days.
The symptoms include fever, headaches, weakness and vomiting, and at an advanced stage there is internal and external bleeding.
The Eboloa outbreak is believed to be the worst in history, and even in a best-case scenario, it could take three to six months to stem the epidemic in West Africa, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, told reporters on Thursday.
Writebol gets experimental serum
Both Brantly, a 33-year-old who last lived in Texas, and Writebol were caring for Ebola patients in Liberia.
An experimental serum was administered to Writebol this week. Only one dose of the serum was available, and Brantly asked that it be given to his colleague, said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritans Purse.
Samaritans Purse said it did not have any additional detail about the serum.
At the same time, Brantly received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who survived Ebola, the statement said. Brantly had treated the teen, it said.
It was not immediately clear what doctors hoped the blood transfusion would do for Brantly.
While blood transfusions have been tried before, Frieden told reporters no one really knows why some people survive and some dont.
There have been questions about the the health of Brantlys wife and his children, who left for Texas prior to his diagnosis.
In a statement released Thursday, Amber Brantly said she and her children are physically fine.
We had left Liberia prior to Kents exposure to the virus, she said. I am always anxiously awaiting any news from Liberia regarding Kents condition.
Meanwhile, Writebols husband, David, who like his wife is with Samaritans Purse, is near her, said their son Jeremy, who spoke with CNNs Chris Cuomo from the United States.
But she is isolated from him, and he has to wear head-to-toe protective clothing similar to a hazmat suit so that he does not contract a disease that starts out with similar symptoms as a strong flu but can end in internal bleeding and death.
Mom continues in stable condition but its very serious, and shes still fighting, her son said. Shes weak, but shes working through it.
Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown said his country could ill afford to lose health care workers like Writebol and Brantly.
We join the families in prayers that they can come through this and become shining examples that, if care is taken, one can come out of this.
Another physician in West Africa was not so fortunate; Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan fell ill early last week while overseeing Ebola treatment at a Sierra Leone hospital and died days later.
Dr. Guptas Tweet Receives Mixed Reactions, Mostly Fear
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