Ebola-Infected American Missionaries Kent Brantly, Nancy Writebol Transferred to United States

( [email protected] ) Aug 01, 2014 04:20 PM EDT
Two American missionaries who contracted Ebola while working with Christian-based organization Samaritan's Purse in Africa have been transferred to the United States. Currently, both aid workers are in "stable but critical" condition.
Dr. Brantly contracted Ebola and has been described as stable but suffering from some symptoms of the contagious disease. (Reuters)

Two U.S. missionary workers infected with the deadly Ebola virus while working in West Africa will be transferred from Africa to the United States for treatment.

At least one of the aid workers, whose name has not been released, will be moved from Liberia in the next several days to a special isolation unit at Emory University Hospital. This will be the first time individuals exposed to Ebola will reside in the United States.

In an email sent to Yahoo News late Thursday, the hospital said it "has been informed that there are plans to transfer a patient with Ebola virus infection to its special facility containment unit within the next several days. We do not know at this time when the patient will arrive."

According to CNN, a long-range business jet is already en route to Monrovia, Liberia, where medical missionaries Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have been under quarantine for several days and are fighting for their lives. Citing privacy laws, the hospital declined to say if either Brantly, 33, or Writebol, 60, will be cared for in a special isolation unit. The facility was built in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The outbreak, the worst since the disease first emerged in Africa nearly 40 years ago, has killed more than 700 people this year.

The two missionaries were working with North Carolina-based Christian charity Samaritan's Purse when they contracted the deadly Ebola virus. The faith-based group recently revealed on its website that Brantly and Writebol are in "grave but stable condition."

In Monrovia, Liberia, Brantly had been treating Ebola patients since June when he recognized that he himself was showing symptoms of Ebola. After isolating himself and telling the rest of the team of his suspicions, his diagnosis was confirmed.

Amber Brantly, the wife of Dr. Brantly, asked for continued prayers for her husband and the estimated 1,300 others in West Africa who have been diagnosed with the virus.

"I remain hopeful and believing that Kent will be healed from this dreadful disease," Amber said in the statement. "I am grateful for the daily reports I receive from his doctors on the ground. He is strong and peaceful and confident in the love of Jesus Christ, which is his sustenance right now."

Nancy Writebol was reportedly disinfecting medics in Monrovia when she fell ill.

According to Bruce Johnson of SIM USA, Writebol's husband, David, "seems strong. He is handling this with faith but he is also realistic with Nancy and Kent."

Johnson also told the Daily Mail that the two missionaries are at "critical" phase of their treatment, and within a few days doctors will know if they will survive.

He noted that Ebola could turn for the worse within hours and that both the patients may soon begin to show signs of internal bleeding, which could be fatal.

Writebol hasreceived an experimental drug doctors hope will improve her health, SIM said. Brantly received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who survived Ebola with the help of Brantly's medical care, said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse.

Unfortunately, there are no treatments out there that have proven effectiveness against Ebola thus far.