The ambulance carrying Dr Kent Brantly arrives at Emory University Hospital
Dr Kent Brantly, the first of two U.S.citizens with Ebola Zaire, arrived in a specially equipped private plane at a military base before being whisked away to Emory University Hospital. The plane carrying him from a hospital in Liberia landed at Dobbins Air Reserve Base 15 miles from Emory Hospital, Atlanta.
The plane carrying Dr Brantly was outfitted with a special portable tent designed for transporting patients with highly infectious diseases.
After it touched down at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, the patient was collected by an ambulance which drove him to Emory, 15 miles (24km) away.
At the hospital a person in protective clothing could be seen climbing down from the back of the ambulance and a second person in protective clothing appeared to take his gloved hands and guide him toward a building, the Associated Press report.
So he was not in the containment unit but walked himself into the hospital.
US officials say they are confident the patients can be treated without putting the public in any danger.
The specialised unit was opened 12 years ago to care for federal health workers exposed to some of the world’s most dangerous germs.
While it has an isolation unit, health experts say it is not needed for treating a patient with Ebola, as the virus does not spread through the air, though some experts dispute that. There are five strains of Ebola Virus, Ebola Reston, Ebola cote dIvoire, Ebola Sudan, Ebola Bungibugyo and Ebola Zaire. All are thought to act in the same way though their severity varies. Ebola Reston, the only strain that so far has never caused a human fatality, was transmitted between monkeys via air in Reston Virginia and some doctors believe that in certain circumstances it can spread that way between humans. You can hear the vies of one of those doctors here.
- Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
- Fatality rate can reach 90%
- Incubation period is two to 21 days
- There is no vaccine or cure
- Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
- Fruit bats are considered to be virus’ natural host
Ebola Zaire, the strain responsible for the current outbreak is the most lethal of all with a mortality rate of up to 90% of all those infected.
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Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.