Emory University Hospital is preparing to receive two Ebola patients from West Africa.
The Pentagon says the patients will be flown into Dobbins Air Force Reserve Base in Marietta. According to NBC News Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, one of the patients will arrive at Dobbins on Saturday. It's unknown when the second patient will arrive.
Emory University's Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will oversee isolation unit, said they will receive one patient in the next several days followed by another patient several days after that.
Nancy Writebol, a missionary who recently contracted Ebola while serving in Liberia, will be one of those patients, according to the Christian mission organization with which she serves.
Friday SIM released a statement confirming her return to Atlanta to continue her treatment at Emory Hospital. Writebol was serving alongside Dr. Kent Brantly of Samaritan's Purse on a joint team when they contracted Ebola. Her husband, David, is close by. With her condition, he can only visit his wife through a window or dressed in a haz-mat suit.
No others from SIM who are returning to the U.S. have tested positive for Ebola.
"We are so heartened that Nancy is in stable condition and that plans are underway to bring her back to the U.S.," said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA. "We are grateful for the help and support of the U.S. State Department in this endeavor. As believers in the power of prayer, we covet the prayers of people around the world, not only for Nancy and Kent, but also for all those fighting this brutal virus."
Although nonessential SIM personnel are leaving the country, SIM is sending in another of its doctors to help with the treatment of Ebola patients at its ELWA treatment center in Monrovia. SIM currently has two doctors caring for Writebol and Brantly, and its Liberian staff is still engaged in the region.
Ribner says Emory was asked to accept two patients because it's one of only four sites in the country capable of handling these high-risk patients. He noted, Emory's isolation unit has been used before to treat SARS, but has been used far more in training than in practice. "The bottom line is, we have an inordinate amount of safety involved... no one is in ANY way at risk."
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