MARIETTA, GA – Number two has arrived in the news, for those of you counting at home.
Only this number two is the second confirmed Ebola victim to come to America.
A specially equipped jet carried aid worker Nancy Writebol from Liberia to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia. From there, an ambulance took her to Emory University Hospital to be quarantined for treatment. That’s where Fort Worth doctor Kent Brantly is recovering.
They both were in Liberia with the aid group Samaritan’s Purse when they became infected with the Ebola virus.
Nearly 900 people have died from it in West Africa in recent weeks. Survival depends a lot on how quickly a person gets treatment.
Brantly and Writebol received the experimental drug called Z-Mapp from Mapp Biopharmaceuticals.
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston are working on another possible vaccine, but they’re not as far along as Mapp.
“As far as the animal studies go, we’re just about there. The hurdle really has been on meeting the human side of the criteria,” says UTMB virologist Thomas Geisbert.
Doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York won`t know for at least another day whether a man tested for Ebola actually has the virus. He showed up with a high fever and stomach illness after returning from West Africa.
And Alan Jamison from Morristown, TN, has quarantined himself inside his house for the next three weeks after spending three weeks in Liberia treating Ebola patients at the same hospitals as Brantly and Writebol.
Pretty soon, finding out if you have Ebola may be as easy as a home pregnancy test.
The people at Corgenix are the ones who make the test that detects the Ebola virus, but results take as much as week to get back.
But Corgenix is using a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to come up with a home blood test that takes about 15 minutes.
Like it or not, Ebola has come to America, but at least we know where it is. For now.