One or both of the two Americans who have contracted Ebola may be flown to the United States in the next several days, ABC News is reporting July 31. Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly became infected with the viral illness while working at a treatment facility in Liberia. Both are receiving treatment there.
On his Twitter feed July 31, Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN reported that “a long range business jet with isolation pod left Georgia shortly after 5p, headed to Liberia to evac American with Ebola infection.” It is believed that at least one of the patients will be taken to an isolation medical facility at Emory University in Atlanta. It remains unclear who that patient will be.
Dr. Kent Brantly received a unit of blood yesterday from a recovered Ebola patient, Dr. Franklin Graham reported for Samaritan’s Purse. The doctor is said to be in “stable but grave condition.” Nancy Writebol, an employee of SIM, is being treated with an experimental drug. She is in “stable, but serious condition” according to SIM.
Both SIM and Samaritan’s Purse have begun withdrawing non-essential staff from the region. They are working with local authorities and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to ensure the safety of their personnel as well as the continued monitoring of their health. No other staff are currently ill.
On July 30, the Peace Corps announced that it was withdrawing 340 volunteers from the three countries with active Ebola cases. The removal is temporary.
There are currently 102 volunteers in Guinea working in the areas of education, agriculture and health; and 108 volunteers in Liberia and 130 volunteers in Sierra Leone working in education. All Peace Corps programs have emergency action plans specific to that country in place, and staff and volunteers are trained and prepared to respond in situations like this one.
The CDC issued a Level 3 travel warning for the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leon on July 31. Americans should avoid all non-essential travel to the three nations while the Ebola outbreak continues. In today’s daily briefing, the State Department spokesperson was unaware of any plans to evacuate embassy staff or other Americans.
The World Health Organization announced July 31 that, as of July 27, they had received reports of 1,323 Ebola illnesses and 729 deaths. The outbreak remains confined to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Nigeria has recorded one illness, which was fatal, in a U.S. citizen who had flown to that country from Liberia.