“A chartered medical aircraft carrying Dr. Kent Brantly touched down at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, shortly before noon,” Reuters reports.
“Brantly was driven by ambulance, with police escort, to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment in a specially equipped room.”
Shootage from the media demonstrated three people in white biohazard suits stepping out of the ambulance. Two of them walked into the hospital, while one remained waiting the other for support. A hospital spokesman confirmed that Brantly was strong enough to enter the hospital on his own legs.
Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease specialist at Emory, refused to unveiled details of treatment as Brantly had been evaluated.
As there is no known cure, standard procedures are to provide hydration with solutions containing electrolytes or intravenous fluids, according to the World Health Organization.
Brantly works for the North Carolina-based Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse. A second infected member of the group, missionary Nancy Writebol, will be brought to the United States on a later flight, as the medical aircraft is equipped to carry only one patient at a time.
“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S. I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital,” Brantly’s wife, Amber, said in a written statement.
“Please continue praying for Kent and Nancy (Writebol), and please continue praying for the people of Liberia and those who continue to serve them there.”
Despite growing concerns among some in the United States over bringing the infected patients to their homeland, health officials have said there is no risk to the public.
The facility at Emory, set up with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is one of only four in the country with the facilities to deal with such cases.
“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, said Friday.
“Ebola is a hemorrhagic virus with a death rate of up to 90 percent of those who become infected; the fatality rate in the current epidemic is about 60 percent,” Reuters explains.
The two infected doctors will undergo treatment primarily by a team of four infectious disease physicians. The patients will have an opportunity to meet their loved ones through a plate-glass window and speak to them by phone or intercom.
“There is a little bit of worry,” Jenny Kendrix, 46, said of having Brantly brought to the same hospital where her husband is being treated for cancer.
However, 52-year-old Ernie Surunis, at the hospital for a pharmacy conference, said he was not bothered. “We can’t leave them (in Africa) to die. They went over to help other people,” he said.