December 21, 2014
Second American Ebola patient arrives in US for treatment
A plane carrying a second American aid worker infected with Ebola from West Africa has reportedly arrived in the United States to receive further treatment for the deadly virus.
Missionary Nancy Writebol, 59, departed from Liberia on Monday in a medical aircraft. She was aboard a plane that landed at Bangor International Airport in Maine just after 8 a.m. EST (1200 GMT) on Tuesday, television station WCSH of Portland, Maine, reported.
The station carried live coverage of the plane stopping to refuel at the airport.
Writebol's arrival came a day after Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City said it was testing a man who traveled to a West African nation where Ebola has been reported. He arrived at the emergency room on Monday with a high fever and a stomach ache, but was in good condition, hospital officials said.
The New York City Health Department, after consulting with the hospital and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement on Monday evening that "the patient is unlikely to have Ebola. Specimens are being tested for common causes of illness and to definitively exclude Ebola."
The patient added to concerns about the disease, which has killed nearly 900 people since February and has no proven cure. The death rate in the current epidemic is about 60 percent, experts say.
Writebol will be treated by infectious disease specialists in a special isolation ward at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, according to Christian missionary group SIM USA.
The mother of two from Charlotte, North Carolina, is a longtime missionary who had been working for SIM USA as a hygienist who decontaminated protective suits worn by healthcare workers inside an isolation unit at a Monrovia treatment center.
Emory's specialists have since Saturday been treating 33-year-old U.S. doctor Kent Brantly, who also returned home after being stricken with Ebola during the emergency response to the worst outbreak on record of the virus.
Writebol and Brantly, believed to be the first Ebola patients ever treated in the United States, served on a joint team in Monrovia run by Christian aid groups SIM USA and Samaritan's Purse. They returned separately because the plane equipped to transport them could carry only one patient at a time.
The pair both saw their conditions improve by varying degrees in Liberia after they received an experimental drug previously tested only on monkeys, a representative for Samaritan's Purse said.
Meanwhile, eight suspected cases of Ebola in Lagos have been reported, all in people who came into contact with Nigeria's first victim who died last month, the health commissioner said today, with one case confirmed.
Authorities have been monitoring anyone who came into close contact with Patrick Sawyer, a Liberia and US citizen who died of Ebola in Lagos last month shortly after arriving at the airport. The second confirmed case was a doctor who looked after him.
Health Commissioner Jide Idris also said a further six people who had made contact with Sawyer had been quarantined but were not showing symptoms.