No surprises yet in treatment of Ebola patients at Emory

ATLANTA – Two American patients continue to fight for their lives at Emory University Hospital.

While they can't give specifics on Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, doctors at Emory say so far there have been no surprises.

Wednesday marked the first full day with the two Ebola patients in Emory Hospital's isolation unit. It's an effort that has involved several layers of Emory Healthcare.

"The whole idea is frequent monitoring, excellent nursing, frequent vital signs, and then treating problems as they arise," said Dr. Jay Varkey of the infectious disease unit.

It is the fifth day back home for Kent Brantly, and the second for Nancy Writebol, whose two sons have been able to visit.

"We were able to spend a few minutes with her to encourage her and be encouraged by her condition," Nancy Writebol's son, Jeremy said in a statement. "Her servant's heart is evident, as she expressed concern for us above and beyond her own circumstances."

Meanwhile, the team responsible for getting both Writebol and Brantly to Emory described their last few days.

John Arevalo and Gail Stallings of Grady EMS sat in the back of this ambulance with Writebol. Her transportation required one more paramedic because of her health, and several more vehicles around her because of the extra workday traffic. But they saw no surprises and, they say, felt few nerves as they took her to the hospital.

"We cleaned the truck for about four hours after [news crews] stopped following us, so we spent a lot of time getting the truck clean," said Stallings.

It's not known how long the two patients will be quarantined, but doctors said they are prepared.

"We have a communicable disease unit designed to take care of infections far more infectious than Ebola, and as such we're specially equipped to deal with these two special patients," said Varkey.

The CDC released a three-page document on ZMapp, the experimental treatment received by both Writebol and Brantly.


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