US Doctor With Ebola Turns Down Serum ...
... so it can go to his colleague instead
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2014 5:49 PM CDT
Dr. Kent Brantly is shown in this 2013 photo.   (AP Photo/JPS Health Network)

(Newser) – The hopeful news for two American charity workers stricken with Ebola in Liberia is that an experimental serum turned up yesterday. The wrenching part is that there was only enough for one of them. That's when Texas doctor Kent Brantly, one of the two ailing Americans, asked that it go to his colleague, hygienist Nancy Writebol, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Brantly, however, received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who survived the disease thanks to the doctor's care, says the president of the charity group that employs him, Samaritan's Purse. "The young boy and his family wanted to be able to help the doctor that saved his life.” Both Americans remain in grave condition, and it's not clear whether that experimental serum will be effective against Ebola, for which there is no cure.

It also appears that both patients will be coming back to the US soon, reports CNN, quoting a source saying that a medical charter flight took off from Georgia to get them. It's not clear where they'll go for treatment, but Emory University Hospital in Atlanta says it is preparing to receive an Ebola patient in the next several days, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The facility has a special isolation unit set up in conjunction with the CDC. The death toll in West Africa, meanwhile, has surpassed 700. (Health officials say that even if the disease does show up in the US, the chances of a wide outbreak here are slim.)

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Showing 3 of 51 comments
Imhotep
Aug 2, 2014 10:11 AM CDT
If this wasn't so serious an issue I would laugh at some of these absurd comments. First off, wasn't it recently made public that the CDC was careless with some virulent material. Wasn't the lead doctor in Africa that died of it well protected and took all the necessary precautions. Isn't it a fact that the virus is airborne and can be transmitted by breathing the infected air. Were talking about a microscopic airborne organism that can attach itself to protective clothing. Breath it in and your infected. Walk out the door , and the world is infected. They do not need to bring these people into this country. They can do their research in Africa. Why take the chance of spreading a virus with no known cure.
Viking Warrior
Aug 2, 2014 4:01 AM CDT
Their work is commendable; however, returning them to the US while still infected is a "potential" danger to all Americans.
Ms_Angie
Aug 1, 2014 1:33 PM CDT
I hope they can learn something from these two people. Hopefully the serum they gave the one patient will lead them in the right direction. And the Doctor who got the blood transfusion, maybe, just maybe, there is something in his and the 14 year old's blood that will give them some kind of start. They would not bring these people here if they did not have a safe and secure location for them. I may be naive, but, I sure hope they know what they are doing.