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Ebola-infected US aid worker to be treated in ‘special isolation unit’ in Atlanta

Published time: August 01, 2014 07:09
AFP Photo/Cellou Binani

AFP Photo/Cellou Binani

One of the two infected US humanitarian workers who contracted Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in an Atlanta hospital. The patient, who is reportedly in a “grave” condition, is expected to arrive within the next several days.

American volunteers who contracted Ebola in ‘grave’ condition

Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, is planning to admit the infected patient “within the next several days,” the university said in a statement. The institution, however, didn’t reveal the name of the patient and the exact time of his/her arrival.

“Emory University Hospital has a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases,” said the hospital.

The patient will be treated in a high-security ward in a special isolated unit which was set up in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“[The isolation unit] is physically separate from other patient areas and has unique equipment and infrastructure that provide an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation. It is one of only four such facilities in the country,” the statement said.

EU on high alert as Germany agrees to accept Ebola patients

According to the hospital, its physicians, nurses and staff “are highly trained in the specific and unique protocols and procedures necessary to treat and care for this type of patient.”

“For this specially-trained staff, these procedures are practiced on a regular basis throughout the year so we are fully prepared for this type of situation.”

According to CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds, the agency is working with the US State Department to facilitate the transfer of the infected patient.

Fears of global spread of Ebola virus as death toll hits 729

The news of the transfer came after Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief group based out of Boone, North Carolina, confirmed that Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol had been diagnosed with Ebola while working in Liberia.

The organization reported that both patients were in a “stable but grave condition.”

Dr. Kent Brantly (AFP Photo/Samaritan's Purse/Joni Byker)

According to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the latest Ebola outbreak has infected about 1,323 people and killed at least 729.

The symptoms include acute fever, bleeding and damage to the central nervous system. The fatality rate can be as high as 90 percent.

On July 31, the WHO together with West African countries said that they are launching a $100 million emergency plan to battle the deadly virus.

There is no cure for the deadly Ebola virus, but companies around the globe have been attempting to develop one as the current outbreak continues to ravage a region in West Africa.

"The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level and this will require increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and coordination," said WHO Director Margaret Chan.

The project includes "several hundred more personnel" deployed in the affected areas.

"The plan sets out new needs to respond to the outbreak across the countries and bring up the level of preparedness in neighboring countries," said WHO spokesman Paul Garwood. "They need better information and infection-control measures."

US health authorities have already advised against traveling to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, countries mostly affected by the virus as the outbreak "represents a potential risk to travelers."

Sierra Leone cyclist tested for Ebola in Scotland

A Sierra Leone cyclist has been tested for Ebola after he felt sick at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

"I was sick. I felt tired and listless. All the doctors were in special suits to treat me - they dressed like I had Ebola. I was very scared," Sierra Leone cyclist Moses Sesay told the Daily Mirror.

But after four days of examination, the tests came back negative, said the spokesman for the games.

"We can confirm an athlete was tested for a number of things when he fell ill last week, including Ebola. The tests were negative and the athlete competed in his event on Thursday," a spokesman for the games said.

He also confirmed that there is “no Ebola in the Athletes Village of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games."

According to Scottish health authorities, the incident was isolated and no one tested positive for the virus.

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