American aid worker infected with Ebola arrives in U.S.

BY Carey Reed  August 2, 2014 at 12:01 PM EST

The first of two American aid workers infected with the deadly Ebola virus while working in West Africa arrived in the U.S. for treatment on Saturday.

Dr. Kent Brantly, a 33-year-old father of two who works for Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian international relief organization based in North Carolina, was in Liberia treating others infected with the disease.

Brantly was transported by special medical aircraft to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia. An ambulance, with police escort, brought him to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, where he will receive treatment. Dr. Brantly emerged from the ambulance in a white protective suit upon arrival at Emory and walked toward the hospital with the aid of another person.

The facility at Emory is one of four in the country that can handle treating Ebola. It is separated from the rest of the hospital’s patient areas and was set up with the help of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Through a plate-glass window, patients can see their loved ones and communication is possible by phone and intercom.

“We have a specially designed unit, which is highly contained. We have highly-trained personnel who know how to safely enter the room of a patient who requires this form of isolation,” Bruce Ribner, an infectious disease specialist at Emory told Reuters on Friday.

The second American aid worker also infected with the disease, 59-year-old missionary and mother of two, Nancy Writebol, will be transferred to Emory at a later time. The medical aircraft chartered for the patients can only carry one at a time.

Writebol, who works with the Sudan Interior Mission, was on a joint mission with Dr. Brantly and Samaritan’s Purse, when they both were infected.

According to a press release from SIM, Writebol is in serious, but stable condition.

This is the worst Ebola outbreak in West African history and has claimed the lives of nearly 700 people in the region since February, according to Reuters.

Learn more on the deadly Ebola outbreak from Gwen Ifill’s interview with Doctors Without Borders Dr. Estrella Lasry.