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2nd American Infected With Ebola Arrives in U.S.

Signs of Improvement continued...

“Nancy is still very weak. She shows signs of continued improvement. She is showing signs of progress and is moving in the right direction. Nancy had yogurt before she got on the airplane,” Johnson told reporters at a news conference, reading a statement from Nancy’s husband, David Writebol.

“A week ago we were thinking about making funeral arrangements for Nancy. Now we have a real reason to be hopeful,” the statement continued.

David Writebol, who was working alongside his wife in Liberia, remains in that country, although efforts are underway to bring him home. Her two sons are also on the way to her bedside, Johnson says.

Isolation Unit Details

The unit where the two are being treated is separate from the rest of the hospital. Staff in the unit, including two nurses who care for each patient and a team of four infectious disease doctors who oversee their care, have been specially trained to enter their rooms.

The air the patients breathe goes through a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter before it's exhausted outside the hospital. There is no recirculation of air, so no one who works inside the facility is at risk.

Patients’ bodily waste, including stool, will be flushed into the public sewer system. Hospital officials have said there was no risk of transmission to the general public, because waste management practices will kill any virus that’s flushed into waste water.

Johnson says the tab for the care and transport of Brantly and Writebol had reached at least $2 million. He says he expects some of those costs will be reimbursed by medical evacuation insurance that’s carried by all missionaries serving with SIM.

Liberia has 50 doctors to care for 4 million people.

That’s why, despite the risk, Writebol and Brantly felt a deep commitment to their work there, Johnson says.

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