Ebola Virus Infection FAQ
Both Pham and Vinson recovered from the virus and have been released from hospitals. No one who had contact with them, including people on flights Vinson took from Cleveland to Dallas and back before being admitted to a hospital, caught Ebola.
In total, five Americans infected with the virus in Africa have been brought back to the U.S. for treatment. All have recovered. The five include aid workers Sacra, Kent Brantly, MD, and Nancy Writebol.
The fourth person was flown back to the U.S. on Sept. 9 for treatment at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, where Brantly and Writebol were also treated. This person's arrival came after the WHO said one of its doctors was being evacuated from Sierra Leone after getting Ebola. The man was released from the hospital Oct. 19. He wants to remain anonymous, the hospital said.
Mukpo, a freelance cameraman for NBC News, was flown to Omaha on Oct. 6. He was part of a crew covering the outbreak in West Africa. He was released Oct. 22.
Ebola Outbreak Unfolds in Africa
On Aug. 8, the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be a “public health emergency of international concern.” It said “a coordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread” of the virus.
On Sept. 16, President Barack Obama announced a plan to scale up the nation’s response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Responding to a plea for help from the Liberian government, Obama said the Department of Defense will send personnel there to boost the international response to the outbreak. The U.S. will also build 17 100-bed units to treat Ebola patients.
Ebola was first identified in 1976, when it appeared in outbreaks in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is named for the Ebola River, which runs near the Congolese village where one of the first outbreaks happened.
WebMD asked Amesh Adalja, MD, about the virus and efforts to contain it. Adalja is an infectious disease doctor at the University of Pittsburgh.