Medical missionary Nancy Writebol will join Dr. Kent Brantly, who was flown to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital on Saturday, CNN reported. Both will be treated in a special isolation unit that was created in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The two colleagues are the first to be treated in the U.S. from the fatal outbreak of the disease that has killed hundreds of people in West Africa.
Brantly’s condition “seems to be improving” since he was admitted to the hospital, the head of the CDC said Sunday, according to USA Today and CBS.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden told CBS’ “Face the Nation” officials are hoping Brantly’s progress will continue. “But Ebola is such a scary disease because it is so deadly. I can’t predict the future for individual patients,” he said.
Despite public concern, including many angry emails and phone calls, officials are not worried about the Ebola virus spreading throughout the U.S. According to the World Health Organization, or WHO, Ebola is spread through contact with blood and other bodily fluids, and is not airborne.
Ebola spreads in Africa when hospitals do not have infection control and when people touch Ebola victims in burial traditions, Frieden specified.
“The plain fact is we can stop it, we can stop it from spreading in hospitals and we can stop it in Africa where it is really the source of the epidemic and where we’re surging our response so that we can control it there,” he added.
The hospital unit at Emory is one of just a few in the nation equipped with everything needed for the treatment and containment of highly infectious diseases, according to USA Today. There is no treatment or vaccine for Ebola, and outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90 percent, the WHO said.
So far, there have been more than 1,600 cases of Ebola reported, along with 887 deaths in the outbreak, according to the WHO and The Associated Press.
Nigerian authorities confirmed a second case of the disease on Monday, causing alarm as the infection spreads in Africa’s most populated nation. A Nigerian doctor who treated a Liberian-American man who died of Ebola in late July contracted the disease, The Associated Press said.
The director general of the WHO met with presidents of impacted nations in Guinea on Friday to discuss a $100 million response plan to fight the spreading of the disease. The plan calls for the deployment of hundreds more medical professionals, The New York Times said.