October 22, 2014
Ebola-stricken US doctor improving
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.
Dr Kent Brantly, a 33-year-old father of two young children, was able to walk, with help, from an ambulance after he was flown on Saturday to Atlanta, where he was 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," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
Frieden said it was too soon to predict whether Brantly would survive, but it was unlikely that Brantly's wife and children, who left Liberia shortly before he began exhibiting symptoms, had contracted the disease.
People who are exposed to Ebola but are not sick cannot infect others, Frieden said.
Brantly, who works for the North Carolina-based Christian organization Samaritan's Purse, had been 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 the infection.
Ebola is a hemorrhagic virus with a death rate of up to 90 percent of those who become infected. The fatality rate in the current epidemic is about 60 percent.
A second US aid worker who contracted Ebola while working in the same facility as Brantly, missionary Nancy Writebol, will be brought to the United States on a later flight as the medical aircraft is equipped to carry only one patient at a time