Ebola-Infected Doctor Showing Improvement in Nebraska

Ebola-Infected Doctor Showing Improvement in Nebraska
Ebola-Infected Doctor Showing Improvement in Nebraska

(HealthDay News) — An American medical missionary being treated at a Nebraska medical center for Ebola infection is showing signs of improvement, according to the hospital.

The patient, Rick Sacra, MD, 51, of Massachusetts – the third of four U.S. health care workers infected by the deadly virus in West Africa – arrived Friday at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He is undergoing treatment in the hospital's 10-bed isolation unit. Doctors there say they are pleased with his progress. He's more alert and responsive, Phil Smith, M.D., director of the Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit, said in a statement Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. The physicians "continue to be encouraged by what we're seeing up to this point," Smith said.

The fourth American health care worker who became infected with Ebola in West Africa continued his second day of treatment Wednesday at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. The patient, who was airlifted in on Tuesday, has yet to be identified for privacy reasons. Emory last month successfully treated two other U.S. medical aid workers who had contracted Ebola in Liberia. Kent Brantly, MD, 33, and Nancy Writebol, 59, were flown in from Liberia in August for aggressive treatment at Emory. Both recovered and are no longer contagious. Although Emory released no further details about its new patient, the World Health Organization reported Tuesday that a doctor working in an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone had tested positive for the disease and was being evacuated, according to the AP.

In Nebraska, Sacra, who's a trained family physician from Massachusetts, is receiving an experimental drug that is different from the one Brantly and Writebol received, according to news reports. Brantly and Writebol were treated with the novel medication ZMapp, but it's not clear whether the drug was key to their recovery.

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