Kent Brantly, an American doctor who contracted the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa while looking after victims of the disease apparently received an experimental serum, which possibly saved his life, before being evacuated from Liberia to a special hospital in the United States.
Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian charity that Brantly was working for, said that the doctor had initially refused the serum as there was only enough for one person. Instead, Brantly asked the doctors to give it to a fellow American who had also contracted the virus, Nancy Writebol. Fortunately, Brantly was able to receive the serum later, the organization said.
“We praise God for the news that Kent’s condition is improving,” Samaritan’s Purse said. “We can confirm that Kent was able to receive a dose of the experimental serum prior to leaving Liberia. Please continue to pray for Kent, the people of Liberia, and all those who are serving there in Jesus’ name.”
Earlier on Sunday, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that Brantly appeared to be improving, and stressed that the key to keeping Americans safe from Ebola is to stem the spread of the disease overseas.
“It’s encouraging that he seems to be improving … and we’re hoping that he’ll continue to improve,” CDC chief Tom Frieden told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” But he cautioned that the disease was “so deadly” and declined to predict whether Brantly would survive.
“I don’t think it’s in the cards that we would have widespread Ebola in this country,” Frieden said. He acknowledged that other travelers might bring back the disease, leading to “a case or two.” But in Africa, hospital and burial practices are feeding the spread of Ebola, and such practices are different in the United States, he said.
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