On Saturday Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, became the first person with the Ebola virus to ever be transported onto U.S. soil.
In a coordinated effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department, Brantly was flown from Monrovia, Liberia to Atlanta, where a treatment team was ready for him at Emory University Hospital.
In a case that has blown all Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act laws out of the water, Brantly arrived in a private jet converted into an “air ambulance” at an airfield outside Atlanta at roughly 11:20 a.m. EDT. According to the flight crew, Brantly was "extremely stable" throughout the trip. The doctor was then taken to Emory by ambulance, where footage from a news helicopter recorded two people in biohazard suits slowly walking into the hospital. One was thought to be Brantly.
Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol, who likewise contracted Ebola, are both affiliated with the North Carolina-based Christian relief groups Samaritan’s Purse and SIM. Writebol is expected to be moved to Emory within the coming days.
Here is a clip describing the Aeromedical Biological Containment System installed inside the modified Gulf Stream jet used to transport Dr. Brantly:
Amber Brantly, the doctor’s wife, said in a statement issued through Samaritan's Purse, “It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S. - I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital.”
The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria is the largest recorded in history, and the disease has a mortality rate of roughly 68 percent. So far, the outbreak has taken over 700 lives, and a vaccination is years away. Yet, the National Institutes of Health is set to begin testing an experimental Ebola vaccine on human subjects in mid-September.
A representative from Emory said in a statement, “Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public."
Image via YouTube