Ebola outbreak: US aid workers infected with virus evacuated from Liberia for treatment

The Americans are being flown to Atlanta for isolation treatment after contracting the highly infectious disease

Two US aid workers infected with the Ebola virus are being evacuated out of West Africa within the next few days, as health officials warned the outbreak of the virus is moving “faster than our efforts to control it”.

The Pentagon confirmed on Friday that a chartered flight was due to land at Dobbins Air Base in Marietta, Georgia. The two Americans are being flown one at a time from Liberia to the Emory University Hospital’s containment unit for treatment.

The patients were helping respond to the worst West African Ebola outbreak on record with the North Carolina-based Christian organization Samaritan's Purse and missionary group SIM USA when they contracted the disease.

The flights are expected to carry Dr Kent Brantly, 33, and 59-year-old a missionary Nancy Writebol.

The aircraft transporting them has been fitted with a portable tent designed for patients with highly infectious diseases, according to the Associated Press. The hospital was set up with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and is physically separate from other patient areas, providing a high level of clinical isolation.

READ MORE: AN IMPORTANT LESSON ABOUT AID
SIERRA LEONE AND LIBERIA ANNOUNCE STATE OF EMERGENCY
UK OFFICIALS 'NOT PREPARED' TO DEAL WITH VIRUS

"We have a specially designed unit, which is highly contained. We have highly trained personnel who know how to safely enter the room of a patient who requires this form of isolation," Bruce Ribner, an infectious disease specialist at Emory, told a news conference on Friday.

The news comes just a day after the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that if the situation continued to deteriorate there is a “high risk” that the virus would spread to other countries.

According to the WHO’s official figures, at least 729 people have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria, but the figure is likely to be higher. 

Dr Margaret Chan, the WHO’s director general, said many frightened patients fleeing hospital isolation wards had led to Ebola’s “chains of transmission” moving “underground” – meaning that many cases were not being recorded.

An Ebola virus; The disease has now spread to Liberia and, for the first time, Sierra Leone and Nigeria Fear and loathing: an Ebola virus; the disease has now spread to Liberia and, for the first time, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, The International Air Transport Association has not recommended any restrictions to air travel, but a number of airlines have suspended flights.

Dubai's Emirates announced on Saturday it had suspended flights to Guinea, one of the West African countries affected by an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.Ebola cases first emerged in the nation of Guinea back in March, and later spread across the borders to Liberia and Sierra Leone. The outbreak is now the largest recorded in world history, and has infected three African capitals with international airports.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor