Via The New York Times: Treatment in U.S. Is Rare Chance to Study Ebola. Excerpt:
Nancy Writebol wanted barbecued chicken and fried okra instead of hospital food for dinner on Friday, so her sons went out and got it, and had it passed to her isolation room in the special containment unit at Emory University Hospital.
Mrs. Writebol, 59, is one of two American missionaries who contracted the Ebola virus while working at a hospital in Liberia. She was flown back to the United States on Aug. 5 strapped to a stretcher, receiving oxygen and encased head-to-toe in a white spacesuit meant to protect others from the deadly infection.
She has come a long way since then. The other missionary, Dr. Kent Brantly, is also on the mend. On Friday, he sent out a statement saying that he was “recovering in every way.” But he added, “There are still a few hurdles to clear before I can be discharged.”
The care that Mrs. Writebol and Dr. Brantly are receiving at Emory is expected to greatly improve their odds of recovery. And they are providing a rare opportunity to study the disease with extensive testing not available in Africa. Their doctors are hoping the scrutiny will yield information that could be used to help patients in Africa and reduce the high death rates there.
“We hope to learn a great deal from them,” said Dr. Bruce S. Ribner, who is leading the team of infectious disease specialists treating the two at Emory. “They may be asked, when they recover, to participate in additional testing. But the focus now is to help them survive.”