American Ebola patient ‘appears to be improving,’ CDC chief says
Atlanta (CNN) — An American doctor infected with Ebola in Liberia “seems to be improving,” according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s encouraging that he seems to be improving,” Thomas Frieden said of Dr. Kent Brantly on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “That is really important, and we are hoping he will continue to improve.”
Brantly, the first known patient with the deadly virus to be treated on U.S. soil, landed at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia on Saturday and was quickly rushed to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital.
He’s one of two Americans sickened by the deadly viral hemorrhagic fever last month while on the front lines of a major outbreak in West Africa.
Video from Emory showed someone in a white, full-body protective suit helping a similarly clad person emerge from the ambulance and walk into the hospital.
Emory has said it will treat Brantly, 33, and fellow missionary Nancy Writebol in an isolation unit.
The plane equipped with an isolation unit can transport only one patient at a time. It will pick up Writebol in Liberia and bring her to Georgia early this week, said Todd Shearer, spokesman for Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse, with which both Americans were affiliated.
Brantly’s wife, parents and sister cried when they saw him on CNN walking from the ambulance into the hospital, another representative of Samaritan’s Purse said on condition of anonymity. His wife, Amber, later said she was relieved that her husband was back in the United States.
“I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S.,” she said in statement. “I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”
Amber Brantly visited her husband along with their daughter in Liberia, but Frieden said on “Face the Nation” that “that they did not have contact with him when he was sick, so it does not appear that they would be at risk.”
Saturday, she visited with him from behind a glass wall for about 45 minutes, the Samaritan’s Purse representative said. Kent Brantly was described as “in great spirits and so grateful.”
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Brantly, who has ties to Texas and Indiana, and Writebol, of North Carolina, became sick while caring for Ebola patients in Liberia, one of three West African nations hit by an outbreak.