AM 720 KDWN
News, Traffic, Weather

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — 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 1 a.m. and 1.30 a.m. local time 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 Rev. 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 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 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 hemorrhagic fever that kills at least 60 percent 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 U.S. 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 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, D.C., for the U.S.-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 United States, public health officials continue to emphasize that treating Brantly and Writebol in the U.S. poses no risks to the public here.

“The plain truth is that we can stop Ebola,” Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, speaking 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.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — 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 1 a.m. and 1.30 a.m. local time 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 Rev. 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 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 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 hemorrhagic fever that kills at least 60 percent 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 U.S. 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 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, D.C., for the U.S.-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 United States, public health officials continue to emphasize that treating Brantly and Writebol in the U.S. poses no risks to the public here.

“The plain truth is that we can stop Ebola,” Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, speaking 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.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — 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 1 a.m. and 1.30 a.m. local time 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 Rev. 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 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 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 hemorrhagic fever that kills at least 60 percent 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 U.S. 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 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, D.C., for the U.S.-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 United States, public health officials continue to emphasize that treating Brantly and Writebol in the U.S. poses no risks to the public here.

“The plain truth is that we can stop Ebola,” Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, speaking 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.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — A second American medical missionary stricken with the often deadly Ebola virus is expected to be flown Tuesday to the U.S. for treatment, following a colleague who was admitted over the weekend to Emory University Hospital’s infectious disease unit.

Top American public health officials continue to emphasize that treating Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly in the U.S. poses no risks to the public as West Africa grapples with its worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history.

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

Brantley and Writebol served on the same medical mission team that was treating Ebola patients in Liberia. Also spreading in Guinea and Sierra Leone, the outbreak has infected more than 1,300 people in West Africa, killing at least 729 of them.

Liberian officials said a medical evacuation plane would transport Writebol to the United States early Tuesday. Information Minister Lewis Brown told The Associated Press that the flight was expected to leave West Africa between at 1 a.m. and 1.30 a.m. local time Tuesday.

Brantly arrived Saturday under the same protocol, 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 the hospital, where he emerged dressed head to toe in white protective clothing and walked into the hospital on his own power.

In another television appearance, Frieden said on “Fox News Sunday” that Brantly “appears to be improving.”

An American mission official has said Brantly was treating victims of the outbreak at a hospital compound near Monrovia, Liberia, when he became infected. They said Writebol served as a hygienist whose role included decontaminating those entering or leaving the Ebola treatment area at that hospital.

There is no cure for the Ebola virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills at least 60 percent of the people it infects in Africa. It is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood, meaning it is not spread as easily as airborne influenza or the common cold.

That means any modern hospital using standard infection-control measures should be able to handle it. American doctors say the virus could be curtailed in Africa by a better functioning health care system.

Emory officials have not commented on Brantly’s condition. And no immediate details were provided by U.S. health officials for Writebol’s planned treatment.

The hospital’s infectious disease unit is one of about four in the country equipped to test and treat people exposed to 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 live the quarantined area.

Family members can see and communicate with patients only through barriers.

Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — A second American medical missionary stricken with the often deadly Ebola virus is expected to be flown Tuesday to the U.S. for treatment, following a colleague who was admitted over the weekend to Emory University Hospital’s infectious disease unit.

Top American public health officials continue to emphasize that treating Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly in the U.S. poses no risks to the public as West Africa grapples with its worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history.

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

Brantley and Writebol served on the same medical mission team that was treating Ebola patients in Liberia. Also spreading in Guinea and Sierra Leone, the outbreak has infected more than 1,300 people in West Africa, killing at least 729 of them.

Liberian officials said a medical evacuation plane would transport Writebol to the United States early Tuesday. Information Minister Lewis Brown told The Associated Press that the flight was expected to leave West Africa between at 1 a.m. and 1.30 a.m. local time Tuesday.

Brantly arrived Saturday under the same protocol, 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 the hospital, where he emerged dressed head to toe in white protective clothing and walked into the hospital on his own power.

In another television appearance, Frieden said on “Fox News Sunday” that Brantly “appears to be improving.”

An American mission official has said Brantly was treating victims of the outbreak at a hospital compound near Monrovia, Liberia, when he became infected. They said Writebol served as a hygienist whose role included decontaminating those entering or leaving the Ebola treatment area at that hospital.

There is no cure for the Ebola virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills at least 60 percent of the people it infects in Africa. It is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood, meaning it is not spread as easily as airborne influenza or the common cold.

That means any modern hospital using standard infection-control measures should be able to handle it. American doctors say the virus could be curtailed in Africa by a better functioning health care system.

Emory officials have not commented on Brantly’s condition. And no immediate details were provided by U.S. health officials for Writebol’s planned treatment.

The hospital’s infectious disease unit is one of about four in the country equipped to test and treat people exposed to 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 live the quarantined area.

Family members can see and communicate with patients only through barriers.

Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — A second American medical missionary stricken with the often deadly Ebola virus is expected to be flown Tuesday to the U.S. for treatment, following a colleague who was admitted over the weekend to Emory University Hospital’s infectious disease unit.

Top American public health officials continue to emphasize that treating Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly in the U.S. poses no risks to the public as West Africa grapples with its worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history.

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

Brantley and Writebol served on the same medical mission team that was treating Ebola patients in Liberia. Also spreading in Guinea and Sierra Leone, the outbreak has infected more than 1,300 people in West Africa, killing at least 729 of them.

Liberian officials said a medical evacuation plane would transport Writebol to the United States early Tuesday. Information Minister Lewis Brown told The Associated Press that the flight was expected to leave West Africa between at 1 a.m. and 1.30 a.m. local time Tuesday.

Brantly arrived Saturday under the same protocol, 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 the hospital, where he emerged dressed head to toe in white protective clothing and walked into the hospital on his own power.

In another television appearance, Frieden said on “Fox News Sunday” that Brantly “appears to be improving.”

An American mission official has said Brantly was treating victims of the outbreak at a hospital compound near Monrovia, Liberia, when he became infected. They said Writebol served as a hygienist whose role included decontaminating those entering or leaving the Ebola treatment area at that hospital.

There is no cure for the Ebola virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills at least 60 percent of the people it infects in Africa. It is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood, meaning it is not spread as easily as airborne influenza or the common cold.

That means any modern hospital using standard infection-control measures should be able to handle it. American doctors say the virus could be curtailed in Africa by a better functioning health care system.

Emory officials have not commented on Brantly’s condition. And no immediate details were provided by U.S. health officials for Writebol’s planned treatment.

The hospital’s infectious disease unit is one of about four in the country equipped to test and treat people exposed to 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 live the quarantined area.

Family members can see and communicate with patients only through barriers.

Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC on Sunday that Brantly’s condition seems to have improved and that it was encouraging to see Brantly walk out of the ambulance unassisted when he arrived at the hospital.

Frieden said he understands the public’s concerns about Ebola, and the public health role is to ensure that the infection is not spread.

“Ebola is very deadly. And it’s normal to be scared of deadly diseases,” he said.

Few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta. He climbed out dressed head to toe in white protective clothing, and another person in an identical hazardous materials suit held both of his gloved hands as they walked gingerly inside.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC on Sunday that Brantly’s condition seems to have improved and that it was encouraging to see Brantly walk out of the ambulance unassisted when he arrived at the hospital.

Frieden said he understands the public’s concerns about Ebola, and the public health role is to ensure that the infection is not spread.

“Ebola is very deadly. And it’s normal to be scared of deadly diseases,” he said.

Few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta. He climbed out dressed head to toe in white protective clothing, and another person in an identical hazardous materials suit held both of his gloved hands as they walked gingerly inside.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC on Sunday that Brantly’s condition seems to have improved and that it was encouraging to see Brantly walk out of the ambulance unassisted when he arrived at the hospital.

Frieden said he understands the public’s concerns about Ebola, and the public health role is to ensure that the infection is not spread.

“Ebola is very deadly. And it’s normal to be scared of deadly diseases,” he said.

Few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta. He climbed out dressed head to toe in white protective clothing, and another person in an identical hazardous materials suit held both of his gloved hands as they walked gingerly inside.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC on Sunday that Brantly’s condition seems to have improved and that it was encouraging to see Brantly walk out of the ambulance unassisted when he arrived at the hospital.

Frieden said he understands the public’s concerns about Ebola, and the public health role is to ensure that the infection is not spread.

“Ebola is very deadly. And it’s normal to be scared of deadly diseases,” he said.

Few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta. He climbed out dressed head to toe in white protective clothing, and another person in an identical hazardous materials suit held both of his gloved hands as they walked gingerly inside.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC on Sunday that Brantly’s condition seems to have improved and that it was encouraging to see Brantly walk out of the ambulance unassisted when he arrived at the hospital.

Frieden said he understands the public’s concerns about Ebola, and the public health role is to ensure that the infection is not spread.

“Ebola is very deadly. And it’s normal to be scared of deadly diseases,” he said.

Few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta. He climbed out dressed head to toe in white protective clothing, and another person in an identical hazardous materials suit held both of his gloved hands as they walked gingerly inside.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC on Sunday that Brantly’s condition seems to have improved and that it was encouraging to see Brantly walk out of the ambulance unassisted when he arrived at the hospital.

Frieden said he understands the public’s concerns about Ebola, and the public health role is to ensure that the infection is not spread.

“Ebola is very deadly. And it’s normal to be scared of deadly diseases,” he said.

Few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta. He climbed out dressed head to toe in white protective clothing, and another person in an identical hazardous materials suit held both of his gloved hands as they walked gingerly inside.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC on Sunday that Brantly’s condition seems to have improved and that it was encouraging to see Brantly walk out of the ambulance unassisted when he arrived at the hospital.

Frieden said he understands the public’s concerns about Ebola, and the public health role is to ensure that the infection is not spread.

“Ebola is very deadly. And it’s normal to be scared of deadly diseases,” he said.

Few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta. He climbed out dressed head to toe in white protective clothing, and another person in an identical hazardous materials suit held both of his gloved hands as they walked gingerly inside.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days. He climbed out dressed head to toe in white protective clothing, and another person in an identical hazardous materials suit held both of his gloved hands as they walked gingerly inside.

“I hope that our understandable fear of the unfamiliar does not trump our compassion when ill Americans return to the U.S. for care,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His agency received “nasty emails” and at least 100 calls from people questioning why the sick aid workers should be let into the United States.

Despite the calls and messages directed to the CDC, few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

“I hope that our understandable fear of the unfamiliar does not trump our compassion when ill Americans return to the U.S. for care,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His agency received “nasty emails” and at least 100 calls from people questioning why the sick aid workers should be let into the United States.

Despite the calls and messages directed to the CDC, few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

“I hope that our understandable fear of the unfamiliar does not trump our compassion when ill Americans return to the U.S. for care,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His agency received “nasty emails” and at least 100 calls from people questioning why the sick aid workers should be let into the United States.

Despite the calls and messages directed to the CDC, few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

“I hope that our understandable fear of the unfamiliar does not trump our compassion when ill Americans return to the U.S. for care,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His agency received “nasty emails” and at least 100 calls from people questioning why the sick aid workers should be let into the United States.

Despite the calls and messages directed to the CDC, few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

“I hope that our understandable fear of the unfamiliar does not trump our compassion when ill Americans return to the U.S. for care,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His agency received “nasty emails” and at least 100 calls from people questioning why the sick aid workers should be let into the United States.

Despite the calls and messages directed to the CDC, few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Atlanta hospital deemed 1 of safest for Ebola care

KDWN

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread, world health officials say. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola. There’s virtually no chance the virus can spread from the hospital’s super-secure isolation unit.

And another thing, they say: medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States from Africa. He arrived Saturday at one of the nation’s best hospitals. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol was expected to arrive in several days.

“I hope that our understandable fear of the unfamiliar does not trump our compassion when ill Americans return to the U.S. for care,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His agency received “nasty emails” and at least 100 calls from people questioning why the sick aid workers should be let into the United States.

Despite the calls and messages directed to the CDC, few of those nearest the hospital Saturday seemed concerned.

“I just think it’s a blessing that we can help possibly make the infected person’s life a little more tolerable,” said Ashley Wheeler, who was shopping just down the street on Saturday. “If I were that person I would want my country to help me the best way they could.”

Emory’s infectious diseases’ unit was created 12 years ago to handle doctors who get sick at the CDC. It is one of about four in the country equipped with everything necessary to test, treat and contain people exposed to very dangerous viruses.

In 2005, it handled patients with SARS, which unlike Ebola can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In fact, the nature of Ebola – which is spread by close contact with bodily fluids and blood – means that any modern hospital using standard, rigorous, infection-control measures should be able to handle it.

Still, Emory won’t be taking any chances.

“Nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating the patients. “The bottom line is: We have an inordinate amount of safety associated with the care of this patient. And we do not believe that any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is in any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

Ribner also said the patients deserve help.

“They have gone over on a humanitarian mission, they have become infected through medical care and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections,” he said Friday.

Amber Brantly was heartened to see her husband climb out of the ambulance that met his plane at Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta.

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”

Inside the unit, patients are sealed off from anyone who doesn’t wear protective gear.

“Negative air pressure” means air flows in, but can’t escape until filters scrub any germs from patients. All laboratory testing is conducted within the unit, and workers are highly trained in infection control. Glass walls enable staff outside to safely observe patients, and there’s a vestibule where workers suit up before entering. Any gear is safely disposed of or decontaminated.

Family members will be kept at a distance for now, the doctors said. The unit “has a plate glass window and communication system, so they’ll be as close as 1-2 inches from each other,” Ribner said.

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist who will be treating Brantly and Writebol, gave no word Saturday about their condition. Both have been described as critically ill after treating Ebola patients at a missionary hospital in Liberia, one of four West African countries hit by the largest outbreak of the virus in history.

There is no cure for the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills as many as 60-80 percent of the people it infects in Africa. There are experimental treatments, but the missionary hospital had only enough for one person, and Brantly insisted that Writebol receive it. His best hope in Africa was a transfusion of blood including antibodies from one of his patients, a 14-year-old boy who survived thanks to the doctor.

There was also only room on the plane for one patient at a time. Writebol will be next, following the same route to Emory in several days.

Medical Writers Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione reported from New York and Milwaukee. Video journalists Ron Harris and Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.