Third American With Ebola Returning to U.S.
While there are currently no firm plans to bring him back to the U.S., Johnson said the organization was “exploring all opportunities and options.”
When asked if Sacra might receive a dose of the experimental drug ZMapp, Johnson said it was his understanding, based on news reports, that there is no more ZMapp in the world. Mapp Biopharmaceuticals, the company that developed ZMapp, released a statement last month saying supplies of the medication are exhausted.
So far, seven health care workers are known to have received doses of ZMapp, a 12-hour infusion of Ebola-fighting antibodies. Two have died, despite treatment. The latest to get the drug was British nurse William Pooley, who was discharged from a London hospital Sept. 3.
While it’s not clear if the drug helped, the BBC reported that his doctors said the levels of Ebola virus in Pooley’s blood fell after treatment. And last week, a study of 18 monkeys infected with Ebola showed all survived after they received the drug.
On Sept. 2, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it had awarded a $25 million contract to Mapp Biopharmaceuticals to speed up the testing and making of ZMapp.
A Survivor Breaks Her Silence
Shortly before SIM released details of Sacra’s condition, Nancy Writebol, a missionary with SIM, spoke to reporters for the first time, describing her own “dark days” with Ebola. Writebol was brought back to the United States for treatment in August and has since recovered.
“When we got to the airport, I really was very, very sick, and pretty much in and out of it. The only way they could get me on the airplane was to put me on the baggage conveyor belt,” she said, laughing. “I could feel the movement of what was happening.”
As she waited to board the specially equipped aircraft that would carry her home, Writebol said she recalled thinking, "I don’t even know if I’m going to make it back to the U.S."
Once at Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta, doctors told her that because of lingering pain she was feeling in her legs and feet, she might need special treatment in a rehabilitation hospital after she was released from isolation.