Two American aid workers seriously ill with Ebola will be brought from West Africa to Atlanta for treatment in one of the most tightly sealed isolation units in the country, officials said today. One is expected to arrive tomorrow, and the other a few days later, according to Atlanta's Emory University Hospital, where they will be treated. They are due to arrive in a private jet outfitted with a special, portable tent designed for transporting patients with highly infectious diseases. It will be the first time anyone infected with the disease is brought into the country. US officials are confident the patients can be treated without putting the public in any danger.
The two Americans—Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol—worked for US missionary groups in Liberia at a hospital that treated Ebola patients. The aircraft transporting them is a Gulfstream jet fitted with what essentially is a specialized, collapsible clear tent designed to house a single patient and stop any infectious germs from escaping. It was built to transfer CDC employees exposed to contagious diseases for treatment. The CDC said the private jet can only accommodate one patient at a time. (See why Brantly turned down an experimental serum to treat the Ebola.)