As millions watched, Dr. Kent Brantly carefully stepped from the back of an ambulance, clad in a protective suit, and was assisted in walking into the isolation facility at Emory University Hospital. Dr. Sanjay Guta of CNN posted a photo of the historic moment on his Twitter account. Brantly is the first of two Ebola patients to be transported to the U.S. for treatment from Liberia. He landed at Dobbins Air Force Reserve Base outside of Atlanta in the late morning of Aug. 2 and was at the hospital in less than an hour.
The private medical transport plane that was used for Dr. Brantly's transport will be decontaminated, and will return to Liberia shortly to make the same trip with SIM employee Nancy Writebol, according to the agency. She will also be treated at Emory, in the same isolation facility. The two transports are being assisted by the U.S. State Department and the Defense Department.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Aug. 1 that it was moving all its missionaries in Liberia and Sierra Leone to other countries as a precaution. In recent weeks, the missionaries were asked to remain at home for their own safety by the LDS. None are reported to have become ill.
This comes on the heels of the Peace Corps announcement on July 30 that it was removing all its volunteers from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The precautionary move is seen as temporary. None of the 340 Peace Corps members are known to have contracted Ebola.
Amber Brantly, the wife of Kent Brantly, issued a statement on Aug. 2 through Samaritan's Purse. It said, in part:
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. Please continue praying for Kent and Nancy–and please continue praying for the people of Liberia and those who continue to serve them there.
The latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is through July 30 and was issued Aug. 2. Three nations have confirmed cases of the viral disease, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Nigeria has one probable and two suspect cases. In total, the WHO is reporting 1,440 Ebola illnesses and 826 Ebola related deaths.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued a Level 3 Travel Warning for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone on July 31 for the Ebola outbreak. It recommends that Americans avoid nonessential travel to the three countries. The Public Health Agency of Canada issued a similar Travel Health Notice that same day.