Thursday, 31 July 2014

Ebola: Infected American Missionary Doctor shows signs of improvement

Dr. Brantly makes chlorine solution for disinfection at the case management center at ELWA Hospital.

Dr. Brantly makes chlorine solution for disinfection at the case management center at ELWA Hospital.
An American doctor who contracted Ebola virus while working in Liberia is showing slight signs of improvement, according to reports.

Dr Kent Brantly remains in a serious condition while he undergoes intensive treatment at an isolation centre, the Samaritan’s Purse charity reports.

Dr Brantly is medical director for Christian aid group’s care centre in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, where he was initially employed to work as a general practitioner, delivering babies and performing surgeries.

Dr Brantly was working alongside missionary Nancy Writebol, who has also contracted the disease. Two other members of their medical team contracted the virus – one fatally, according to US National Public Radio.

“He doesn’t want people to lose sight that he’s one of three people at this hospital who got infected and one of them has already died,” Dr David McRay, director of Maternal-Child at JPS Health Network told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram . “… In Kent’s eyes, he’s no more special than all of the Africans who are passing away..”

“We’re trying to figure out what went wrong because he was always very careful,” said Tolbert Nyenswah, an assistant health minister in Monrovia.

It is not clear how Dr Brantly became infected as he believes he did not violate any guidelines. “Kent is confident he followed all of the appropriate protocols,” Dr McRay said.

Dr Brantly completed his medical residency in Fort Worth, Texas, before travelling to Liberia in October 2013 with his wife Amber and two children, aged 3 and 5, to work with the Samaritan’s Purse Christian aid group. Amber and the children flew home to the United States two weeks ago, before Dr Brantly began exhibiting signs of the illness and tested positive for the disease on July 23.

“The disease usually declares itself within two weeks,” Dr McRay said. “It’s usually in the second week of the illness that people are either recovering or not — and most not. My thought is, we’ll know something next week.”

In its advanced stages, Ebola virus can cause significant hemorrhaging, including bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and rectum and a rash containing blood that spreads all over the body.

In an email message to Dr McRay, Dr Brantly said: “I’m praying fervently that God will help me survive this disease. Please continue to pray along with me and my friend Nancy who is also very sick and for the doctors who are taking care of us. Peace. Kent.”

Please continue to pray for Dr. Brantly and Nancy Writebol.

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