Ebola Update: Doctor Kent Brantly, Missionary Continue to Improve in Atlanta
By Boaz Wadel
Dr. Kent Brantly's condition is improving as he remains in the isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. His wife, Amber, has been able to see him and said he was in good spirits. "He thanked everyone for their prayers and asked for continued prayer for Nancy Writebol's safe return and full recovery," she said.
Dr. Brantly, who contracted the Ebola virus while treating patients in Liberia, is being treated at a special unit set up in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases. He was flown to the U.S. in a medical evacuation plane equipped with a special containment unit and arrived at Dobbins Air Force Base in Atlanta Saturday at 11:20 a.m. ET. Dr. Brantly was then transported to Emory University Hospital.
"It's encouraging that he seems to be improving," Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, told news outlets on Sunday. "That is really important, and we are hoping he will continue to improve."
American Nancy Writebol, a missionary with SIM who also contracted Ebola in Liberia, arrived in Atlanta on Tuesday for treatment.
"We thank God that they are alive and now have access to the best care in the world," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. "We are extremely thankful for the help we have received from the State Department, the CDC, the National Institute of Health, WHO and, of course, Emory Hospital.
"Please keep praying and thank God for all He is doing."
The safety of its staff is a top priority, and Samaritan's Purse is currently working to evacuate all but the most essential personnel to their home countries.
The exact timeline and destinations are being kept confidential to respect their privacy. Samaritan's Purse is taking precautions that exceed the standards recommended by the CDC.
None of the evacuating staff are ill, and the World Health Organization and CDC continue to reiterate that people are not contagious unless they begin showing symptoms. Following their evacuation, Samaritan's Purse will work with staff to monitor their health.
Both Dr. Brantly and Writebol received a dose of an experimental serum while still in Liberia. Dr. Brantly also received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola under his care.
"The young boy and his family wanted to be able to help the doctor that saved his life," Graham said.