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UPDATE: Kent Brantly, Doctor With Ebola, Is Back In U.S. After Evacuation From Liberia

Dr. Kent Brantly, the Fort Worth doctor who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia, has reportedly arrived in Atlanta for treatment. 

CNN is reporting that Brantly arrived late Saturday morning at Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia. He was transported by ambulance to Emory University Hospital.

Another American with Ebola, Nancy Writebol, is expected to be evacuated from Liberia soon. They were to both be evacuated by early next week, according to a statement from Samaritan's Purse, the charity group. 

Brantly, who was trained in Fort Worth, and Writebol, a missionary with SIM, have been in serious condition, Samaritan's Purse says.  

WABE, the NPR member station in Atlanta, reportsthat Dr. Alexander Isakov, an Emory doctor who's overseeing the transport, downplayed any threat to public safety.

"Through drills and exercises over the years, we've developed our competency and feel confident we can do this job well," Isakov said.

Brantly will be treated by a team of doctors and nurses trained in infectious diseases, WABE reports.

Meanwhile, in Liberia, 60 nonessential members with Samaritan's Purse are being evacuated, the relief group says.

"They are all healthy, and we expect them to return to the United States by the end of the weekend," the statement says. "We ask for continued prayer for the evacuation process and the health of Kent Brantly, Nancy Writebol, the medical staff treating them and for all those who are affected by Ebola."

NPR has more details.

The Associated Press reports:

A small private jet based in Atlanta has been dispatched to Liberia where the two Americans work for missionary groups. Officials say the jet is outfitted with a special, portable tent designed for transporting patients with highly infectious diseases.

The Pentagon's press secretary, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Friday that a private-chartered aircraft will be arriving at Dobbins Air Reserve Base with Brantly and Writebol. 

Dr. Bruce Ribner said Friday the patients will receive care at Emory University Hospital, which has a specialized isolation unit. Ribner said he had no personal safety concerns over treating the patients of the dangerous disease.

Hospital officials did not identify the patients, citing confidentiality rules. 

Ribner said one of the patients was expected to arrive Monday, while a second was expected several days later.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 700 people.

Original post from KERA, 6 p.m. Thursday:

The condition of a Fort Worth doctor who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia has worsened.

The aid relief group Samaritan’s Purse says Dr. Kent Brantly “took a slight turn for the worse” Wednesday night.

On Wednesday, an experimental serum arrived in Liberia, but there was only enough for one person. Brantly asked that it be given to Nancy Writebol, a missionary working with Samaritan’s Purse who also contracted Ebola, the president of Samaritan’s Purse said in a statement released Thursday morning.

But Brantly got a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who was treated by Brantly and survived Ebola.

“The young boy and his family wanted to be able to help the doctor who saved his life,” said the president, Franklin Graham.

Samaritan’s Purse is evacuating most of its personnel by this weekend. None of the evacuating staff are ill, the relief group says. 

Family issues statement

Amber Brantly, Dr. Brantly's wife, issued a statement earlier this week:

We appreciate so much all the words of comfort and acts of kindness extended to our family. As people with a deep faith in Jesus, we sincerely thank the thousands of people worldwide who have lifted up Kent and this dreadful situation in prayer. We continue to lean on that faith and take great consolation in our God in these times. Amber and their two children are staying in an undisclosed location to protect their privacy. We continue to believe that God will deliver Kent from this deadly virus. We have a strong family unit within a stronger faith community that has given us incredible support. Kent remains very physically weak but his spirit has been determined throughout this ordeal. This is a challenging time for our family. We will not be speaking to the media at this time. We ask that you respect our privacy. We ask for your continued prayers for Kent, his colleague, Nancy Writebol, and the healthcare workers in Liberia struggling to meet the overwhelming demands of those who are sick with the Ebola virus as well as patients who have come to that hospital with other needs.

Read more

For more about Dr. Brantly and Ebola, read our earlier story.

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.