An American doctor infected with the deadly Ebola virus was transferred Saturday to Emery University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Kent Brantly and another American aid worker, Nancy Writebol, were both infected in West Africa after working with an aid agency in the region. Writebol is expected to be transferred to the hospital sometime this week, according to a hospital statement.
The virus, which was killed more than 887 people in West Africa, has a mortality rate of at least 60%. World health officials have warned that the outbreak is spreading out of control in Africa. In order to contain the virus in the United States, the two patients will be in isolation and have contact with others via intercom and a plate-glass window. Still, residents of Atlanta, along with other Americans, are concerned that the virus will spread to others on American soil.
How can the two infected Americans be given treatment while still preventing the spread of Ebola? Was the transfer to the United States the correct move? How should health officials deal with future cases of Ebola victims?
Philip Alcabes, Ph.D, professor of public health at Adelphi University; author of "Dread: How Fear and Fantasy have fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to Avian Flu"
Dr. Donald Forthal, Chief of Infectious Diseases Division, UC Irvine Medical Center & Professor of Medicine