ATLANTA — In a Pentagon briefing Friday morning, officials announced that the two American patients infected with Ebola will be coming to metro Atlanta. Officials say the victims, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, will pass through Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Cobb County. They did not announce an arrival time.
Emory University Hospital officials said they have been informed that there are plans to transfer patients with the Ebola virus infection to a special containment unit at their facility.
The hospital has a special isolation unit set up in collaboration with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to treat patients with serious infectious diseases.
At least one of the two will be taken to a hospital at Emory University, near the headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, according to CNN.
"It is physically separate from other patient areas and has unique equipment and infrastructure that provide an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation," a spokesman said in a release.
Sources told CNN that Brantly and Writebol are described as being in grave condition but are stable after their health worsened overnight. Both healthcare workers have been in Liberia with the faith-based charity Samaritan's Purse.
The hospital said doctors, nurses and staff are trained in procedures to handle this type of patient.
The hospital is only one of four such facilities in the country.
CDC issues travel warning
The CDC issued a level three travel warning Thursday as the west Africa Ebola outbreak worsened.
Officials are warning people to avoid nonessential travel to the West-African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“This is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history. Far too many lives have been lost already,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “It will take many months, and it won’t be easy, but Ebola can be stopped. We know what needs to be done. CDC is surging our response, sending 50 additional disease control experts to the region in the next 30 days.”
The CDC is also hoping to prevent, detect and stop Ebola and other outbreaks before they spread by screening and educating those in West Africa to prevent sick travelers from getting on planes.
Airlines on alert
Airline officials were told to notify the CDC before ill passengers board a plane. The CDC will then investigate ill passengers and quarantine them if necessary.
Channel 2's Dave Huddleston spoke with officials at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport who said customs and border protection agents are on heightened alert to watch for people with flu like symptoms.
At this time, the CDC will not screen passengers traveling from the affected countries, but will provide guidance to airlines for managing ill passengers and crew for disinfecting the aircraft.
The CDC noted that transmission of Ebola happens through direct contact with bodily fluids of an infected, symptomatic person or exposure to objects like needles that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
Over the next five years, the U.S. has committed to working with at least 30 partner countries to improve their ability to prevent, detect, and effectively respond to infectious disease threats—whether naturally occurring or caused by accidental or intentional release of pathogens.