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ATLANTA (CNN) - A specially equipped
medical plane whisked Ebola-stricken Dr. Kent Brantly from Liberia to Georgia
on Saturday, setting up the latest leg of a race to save the man who's now the
first known Ebola patient on U.S. soil.



An ambulance rushed
Brantly -- one of two Americans seriously sickened by the deadly viral
hemorrhagic fever last month while on the front lines of a major outbreak in
West Africa -- from Dobbins Air Reserve Base to Atlanta's Emory University
Hospital shortly after the plane landed late Saturday morning.



Video from Emory
showed someone wearing a white, full-body protective suit helping a similarly
clad person emerge from the ambulance and walk into the hospital early Saturday
afternoon.



Emory has said it will
treat Brantly, 33, and eventually the other American, fellow missionary Nancy
Writebol, in an isolation unit. There, physicians say they have a better chance
to steer them to health while ensuring the virus doesn't spread -- the last
point nodding to public fears, notably expressed on social media, that the
disease could get a U.S. foothold.



The plane, also
equipped with a unit meant to isolate the patient, could take only one patient
at a time. Organizers expect the plane will now pick up Writebol in Liberia,
hoping it can bring her to Georgia early next week, said Todd Shearer,
spokesman for Christian charity Samaritan's Purse, with which both Americans
were affiliated.



"We thank God
that they are alive and now have access to the best care in the world,"
Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham said in a statement released after
Brantly arrived at Emory.



Brantly, of Fort
Worth, Texas, and Writebol, of North Carolina, became sick while caring for
Ebola patients in Liberia, one of three West African nations hit by an outbreak
that health officials believe has sickened more than 1,300 people and killed
more than 700 this year.



Treatment in isolation



This will be the first
human Ebola test for a U.S. medical facility. But both Brantly and Writebol
will be treated at an isolated unit where precautions have long been in place
to keep such deadly diseases from spreading, unit supervisor Dr. Bruce Ribner
said.



Everything that comes
in and out of the unit will be controlled, Ribner told reporters Thursday, and
it will have windows and an intercom for staff to interact with patients
without being in the room.



Ebola is not airborne
or waterborne, and spreads through contact with organs and bodily fluids such
as blood, saliva, urine and other secretions of infected people.



There is no
FDA-approved treatment for Ebola, and Emory will use what Ribner calls
"supportive care." That means carefully tracking a patient's symptoms,
vital signs and organ function and taking measures, such as blood transfusions
and dialysis, to keep him or her as stable as possible.



"We just have to
keep the patient alive long enough in order for the body to control this
infection," Ribner said.



Writebol was given an
experimental serum this week, Samaritan's Purse said, though its purpose and
effects, if any, weren't immediately publicized.



The Ebola virus causes
viral hemorrhagic fever, which refers to a group of viruses that affect
multiple organ systems in the body and are often accompanied by bleeding.



Early symptoms include
sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat, but
progress to vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver function and
sometimes internal and external bleeding.



Emory's isolation unit
was created with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based down the
road. It aims to optimize care for those with highly infectious diseases and is
one of four U.S. institutions capable of providing such treatment.



The World Health
Organization reports that the outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea is
believed to have infected 1,323 people and killed more than 729 this year, as
of July 27.



Fear, conspiracy
theories



As official moved to
bring Brantly and Writebol home, the idea of purposefully bringing Ebola into
the United States has rattled many nerves.



"The road to hell
was paved with good intentions," wrote one person, using the hashtag
#EbolaOutbreak. "What do we say to our kids When they get sick&
die?"



On the website of
conspiracy talker Alex Jones, who has long purported the CDC could unleash a
pandemic and the government would react by instituting authoritarian rule, the
news was a feast of fodder.



"Feds would
exercise draconian emergency powers if Ebola hits U.S.," a headline read
on infowars.com.



Ribner repeatedly
downplayed the risk for anyone who will be in contact with Brantly or Writebol.



"We have two
individuals who are critically ill, and we feel that we owe them the right to
receive the best medical care," Ribner said.



While at Abilene
Christian, he spent a summer interning overseas with an ACU program focused on
vocational missions experiences, ACU's online alumni magazine reported.



"Everyone here
who has been connected with Kent knows him to be someone who is very
compassionate, considerate and always upbeat in all he does," the
program's director, Dr. Gary Green, told the magazine. ".. Kent's the kind
of guy who would weigh benefits versus risk, then try to take himself out of the
equation so that he would be thinking, 'What do I bring to the table? Is the
risk worth taking because I can benefit so many people?' "



Before heading to
Liberia, Brantly did his residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.



"We're kind of
proud that there was a hero out there trying to do his best to make life better
for other folks under the circumstances," a physician who knows him, Dr.
Paul Pepe of Dallas' UT Southwestern Medical Center, told CNN affiliate WFAA
this week.



Though Brantly's wife
and children had been in Liberia with him, they were in the United States when
he became ill, and they are not symptomatic themselves, the CDC has said.
Brantly's wife, Amber Brantly, spoke to him on the phone after he arrived in
Atlanta on Friday, a family representative said on condition of anonymity.



Amber Brantly, and his
parents and his sister, were expected to be allowed to see him through a glass
wall at Emory later Saturday, the source said.



Fear, conspiracy
theories



As officials worked to
bring Brantly and Writebol home, the idea of intentionally bringing Ebola into
the United States has rattled many nerves.



"The road to hell
was paved with good intentions," wrote one person, using the hashtag
#EbolaOutbreak. "What do we say to our kids When they get sick&
die?"



On the website of
conspiracy talker Alex Jones, who has long purported the CDC could unleash a
pandemic and the government would react by instituting authoritarian rule, the
news was a feast of fodder.



"Feds would
exercise draconian emergency powers if Ebola hits U.S.," a headline read
on infowars.com.



Ribner repeatedly
downplayed the risk for anyone who will be in contact with Brantly or Writebol.



"We have two
individuals who are critically ill, and we feel that we owe them the right to
receive the best medical care," Ribner said.



The fight against
Ebola



All concerns about the
United States pale in comparison to the harsh reality in the hardest-hit areas.



Even in the best-case
scenario, it could take three to six months to stem the epidemic in West
Africa, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC.



There's no vaccine,
though one is in the works.



There's no
standardized treatment for the disease, either; the most common approach is to
support organ functions and keep up bodily fluids such as blood and water long
enough for the body to fight off the infection.



The National
Institutes of Health plans to begin testing an experimental Ebola vaccine in
people as early as September. Tests on primates have been successful.



So far, the outbreak
is confined to West Africa. Although infections are dropping in Guinea, they
are on the rise in Liberia and Sierra Leone.



In the 1990s, an Ebola
strain tied to monkeys -- Ebola-Reston -- was found in the United States, but
no humans got sick from it, according to the CDC.



Copyright 2014 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

U.S. Ebola patient at Atlanta hospital

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