A specially-designed GulfSteam III air ambulance chartered by Georgia-based Phoenix Air Group, flying in from Liberia to Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday will be carrying the first of two Ebola infected American health workers scheduled to land on U.S. soil Saturday.
“When this unit was being built, we hoped we'd never have to use the space to treat a serious communicable disease,” an Emory epidemiologist, Bruce Ribner said.
It was last week when Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, was diagnosed to have contracted the deadly virus Ebola. He was in Liberia, West Africa with SIM USA and Samaritan's Purse, Christian aid charities to help those infected with Ebola. His wife and two children returned to the United States before the doctor started showing any symptoms of the disease.
Nancy Writebol, 60, is the second American who has been diagnosed with Ebola. She is a hygienist and an educator from Charlotte, North Carolina, who began working as a missionary with the U.S. charity organization Samaritan’s Purse during the virus outbreak in Liberia.
They are two of the more than 1,300 people believed sickened in the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history. Both Dr. Brantly and Writebol will be treated at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital in a super-high containment facility near the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The Ebola virus doctors say is scary since the World Health Organization has said patients die an agonizing death.
During the first stage the WHO reported the symptoms are characterized by fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, a rash and diarrhea. The second is a hemorrhagic fever that causes patients to have difficulty breath and swallowing with agonizing bleeding inside their body. The third stage is the most gruesome since patients are bleeding from the inside to the outside of their bodies. Blood can pour out of patient’s ears, nose and can turn their eyes from white to red. Generally patients who enter the second stage of Ebola do not survive.
The Director at the CDC in Atlanta, Dr. Tom Frieden said he understands why Americans may be jittery about bringing the two Americans back to U.S. to continue their treatment of the incurable Ebola infection which kills up to 90 per cent of those it infects.
During an appearance on CNN, Dr. Frieden tried to reassure the public.
“I really hope that people's fear won't outweigh their compassion,” Dr. Frieden said. “We've got a real challenge in African and what we need to focus on is stopping the outbreak there. We will be able to stop it, but it’s going to take supporting people.”
Yet with all of the precautions being taken by experts in the field of communicable diseases, some are outraged once learning the two Americans would be flown back to the United States. Twitter lit up with all kinds of negative responses. Even real estate mogul Donald Trump had a few choice words to say about it.
“Ebola patients will be brought to the U.S. in a few days - now I know for sure that our leaders are incompetent. KEEP THEM OUT OF HERE!” Trump tweeted Thursday evening after it emerged the Americans were returning to their homeland.
On Thursday, U.S. health officials issued a warning to Americans asking them not to travel to the three West African countries of Liberia who has closed its borders to help stop the disease, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The WHO raised the death toll by 57 to 729 on Thursday, announcing that 122 new cases had been detected between Thursday and Sunday last week, bringing the total to more than 1,300.