American woman with Ebola arrives at US hospital

Medical workers roll patient Nancy Writebol into Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Georgia, August 5, 2014.
PHOTO: American woman with Ebola arrives at US hospital

WASHINGTON - An American woman who was infected with the dangerous Ebola virus arrived Tuesday in the United States for treatment, days after a US doctor was evacuated from West Africa.

After landing at a military air strip aboard a small medical evacuation plane, Nancy Writebol, 60, was transported by ambulance to Emory University Hospital.

Television crews followed the ambulance by helicopter, and images showed a patient wrapped in a white protective suit and transported on a stretcher to the hospital entrance.

"As anticipated, a second American patient with Ebola virus has been transferred from an overseas location to a special isolation facility in Emory University Hospital for treatment," the hospital said.

"Nancy is still very, very weak, but shows continued, but slow improvement," said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA, the Christian aid group for which she worked.

"She is showing signs of progress and moving in the right direction." Writebol's colleague, missionary doctor Kent Brantly, 33, is also receiving care at a special containment unit at the same hospital.

He arrived on Saturday and was able to climb out of the ambulance and walk into the facility.

"I have been able to see Kent every day, and he continues to improve," said his wife, Amber, in a statement.

"I am also thrilled to see that Nancy arrived safely in Atlanta today." Both Writebol and Brantly worked for Christian aid agencies in Liberia and were infected with Ebola while taking care of patients in Monrovia.

The two Americans are among more than 1,600 people infected with the hemorrhagic fever in West Africa since March, marking the largest outbreak of Ebola in history.

A total of 887 people have died of the virus in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria, a 55 per cent fatality rate of those known to be infected, according to the World Health Organisation.

The World Bank has pledged up to $200 million to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to help those nations contain the outbreak.

Ebola is transmitted through close contact with bodily fluids, and people who live with or care for patients are most at risk. Experts say it is not transmissible by air.

There is no approved treatment or vaccine for Ebola, but both Writebol and Brantly received an experimental serum while they were in Liberia, their aid groups have said.

Meanwhile, doctors in New York were running tests on a patient who was hospitalized with symptoms similar to those of Ebola, which include vomiting, diarrhoea, and fever.

The man had recently travelled to West Africa. Upon arrival at Mount Sinai, he was promptly placed in a strict isolation facility.

"Following approved protocols, the specimen has been delivered to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia," the hospital said in a statement.

"CDC informs us that testing typically is completed within 24-48 hours." The hospital added that the patient was still in isolation and "was stable overnight and in good spirits."