A jet fitted with a tent for people with highly infectious diseases heads to Liberia, as WHO warns the epidemic is moving fast.
01 August 2014
Two Americans infected with ebola in West Africa are to be flown back to the US in the coming days, as world health officials warned the outbreak was moving too quickly.
The Pentagon confirmed on Friday that arrangements were being made for a chartered flight to land at Dobbins Air Base in Marietta, Georgia.
It is expected to transport Dr Kent Brantly, 33, and 59-year-old Nancy Writebol, a missionary.
They were said on Thursday to be in a “stable but grave condition” after contracting the haemorrhagic fever in the Liberian capital Monrovia.
The State Department said on Friday it was leading preparations to evacuate the two Americans back to the US to be cared for in strict isolation.
Spokeswoman Marie Harf said the patients, whom she declined to identify citing privacy concerns, would be taken to medical facilities with appropriate isolation and treatment capabilities.
Emory University Hospital, in southern Georgia, said it was preparing to accept two ebola patients to its containment unit within the next several days.
A small private jet was dispatched from the US state of Georgia to Liberia on Thursday.
The aircraft has been fitted with a portable tent designed for transporting patients with highly infectious diseases, AP news agency reports.
The World Health Organisation’s director-general warned on Friday that the ebola outbreak, which has killed at least 729 people, is out of control but can be stopped.
Margaret Chan told the presidents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra, the three worst affected nations: “This outbreak is moving faster than our efforts to control it.
“If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries.