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U.S. doctor with Ebola arrives in Atlanta

by RAY HENRY, Associated Press on August 02, 2014 12:29 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated at 1:20 p.m.
ATLANTA (AP) — An American doctor infected with the Ebola virus in Africa arrived in Atlanta for treatment today, first landing at a military base, then being whisked away to one of the most sophisticated hospital isolation units in the country, officials say.

A private plane outfitted with a special, portable tent designed for transporting patients with highly infectious diseases arrived at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, spokesman Lt. Col. James Wilson confirmed. Samaritan's Purse missionary group tells The Associated Press that Dr. Kent Brantly is the patient.

An ambulance from Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital left the base shortly after the jet landed and drove the 15 miles or so toward Emory University Hospital where Brantly and another aid worker will be treated.

Later, one person in protective clothing climbed down from the back of the ambulance and a second person in protective clothing appeared to take his gloved hands and guide him toward a building at Emory. U.S. officials are confident the patients can be treated without putting the public in any danger.

The ambulance with red marking was flanked by a few SUVs and police car en route to the hospital along an Interstate.

The second patient, Nancy Writebol, will follow a few days later, the hospital has said.

The specialized unit at Emory University Hospital was opened a dozen years ago to care for federal health workers exposed to some of the world's most dangerous germs. Health experts say a specialized isolation unit, though, is not needed for treating an Ebola patient. The virus does not spread through the air, so standard, rigorous infection control measures should work at any hospital.

The two seriously Americans who worked at a hospital in Liberia, one of the three West Africa countries hit by the largest Ebola outbreak in history.

The Emory hospital unit is located just down a hill from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is one of about four such units around the country for testing and treating people infected with dangerous, infectious germs.

Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee, National Security Writer Robert Burns in Washington and video journalist Johnny Clark and writer Ray Henry in Atlanta contributed to this report.

PHOTO: An ambulance departed Dobbins Air Reserve Basetoday in Marietta, Ga. (Mike Stewart/Associated Press)

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