Ebola Patients to be Treated on US Soil

Infected Americans to be transported from Liberia to US facility.
14:24 | 08/01/14

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Transcript for Ebola Patients to be Treated on US Soil
Hello everyone I'm Gloria Riviera in New York as Ebola outbreak spreads in West Africa. Plans are being put into place to bring the two American aid workers back to the United States and treat them on US soil that's the first time that's ever happened. Just moments ago representatives from Emory university hospital where the two Americans will be treated each held their plans to bring their patients from Iberia. And how they will be treated once here. Emory university hospital has been asked to accept to patients who are currently. In Africa infected with Ebola Virus infection. The reason our facility was chosen for this is because we are only we -- one of only four institutions in the United States. Capable of handling patients of this nature we have a special containment unit. Which has been developed with the assistance of the subject -- experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And together with them we have developed the unit which can safely care. For a patient with a serious communicable the disease. Delivering the highest level of care required in computing including intensive care you. We have -- specially trained staff which has been with us for several years we have actually had this unit for twelve years. And they have all received repeated training and field exercises. An actual. Activation is to care for patients of these nature. Ebola Virus has many of you know is a infectious disease by a virus which is -- Causes a disease in a -- group called hemorrhagic fevers. Because. Patients who had severe illness hemorrhage from multiple bodies cites the viruses themselves -- Unfortunately. As of this date. There is neither a vaccine. Or a treatment. Which is FDA approved for the care of patients who are infected with this virus. And so the critical component of caring for a patient with the Ebola Virus infection. It is supportive care. The reason we are bringing these patients back to our facility. BP is because we feel. They deserve to have the highest level of care offered. For their treatments they have gone over on the humanitarian. Mission. They have become infected through medical care. And we feel that we have the environment and expertise. To safely. Care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections. I'm now going to. Let the -- is a -- talk about the transport piece of this program. Thanks Bruce and good afternoon. My name's Alex -- Coughlin director for pre hospital disaster medicine here at -- common emergency medicine physician. I'm also on the Emergency Medical Services medicine physician or EMS position. EMS professionals care for their most seriously ill and injured patients every day in the United States respond to nine alarm calls and providing for the in a facility transport patients. This particular patient that we're talking about has -- Ebola viruses doctor -- it's a serious communicable disease. The EMS every day's been asked to consider how they would transport patients and care for patients. Under their care of their answers communicable disease SARS is a great example from 2003. Extensively drug resistant tuberculosis. Her novel. Viral influenza a H five N Warner H1N1. What's the mission of these EMS professionals. Is to provide the best care for the patient that they can. To provide the appropriate safety measures for those medics and nurses that might be caring for the patient during transport. But also provide for the safety -- -- -- of the individuals around UMass agency. So great care great safety for the health care workers in great safety for all those around. Why are we particularly good at this. For the last twelve years in conjunction with the clinical isolation unit here at Emory university hospital. Our special EMS transport team has had an opportunity. To provide the appropriate education and training for select number paramedics. Two identify the appropriate policies and procedures that would allow for the safe care and safe transport of those patients. To develop -- is to develop procedures for use of personal protective equipment or and or disinfection of -- of the ambulance. To coordinate properly with the clinical isolation unit for a transfer of that patient. And through drills and exercises over the years we've developed our competencies we feel confident that we can -- job well. We're looking very much forward to assisting this individual. In receiving the best -- they possibly can receive. And think it opens up to questions after September thank you. Right -- I want to -- and ABC's -- and not me for the latest on the outbreak -- even covering this. All week you've been speaking directly to some of the organizations involved the two American aid workers are supposed to be flown to the US but they haven't yet right. No this is actually going to take some days and there are a few different reasons for that. Do we at least we do know when they're the good news is that we do know. That the evacuations are not going to be delayed because of the condition of the patients at least not at this time we're told that they are in stable enough condition. To be able to get on that plane and get back to the US. However we know there's only one plane going over it's a small price that jet that will be outfitted with a specialized isolation tent. Inside of it but he has to get all the way from Georgia over to Liberia it can only carry one patient at a time so -- -- you know they've they've contained one patient. And then bring that -- and all the way back about them all the way back to Georgia turn around and and do that again so the evacuation. The aid organizations expect and hope that this will be done. And complete by early next week right and it's been interesting we've been hearing repeated reports that doctor. -- Bradley insisted that the experimental. Sarah be given to doctor -- solidly interest to see which one of them is put on the plane first. What's the situation for aid organizations overseas are they pulling out the other volunteers that are on the career. You know it's a pretty desperate situation right now in the three African countries that are affected by this Ebola outbreak. Me it and a number of aid organizations are pulling out their staff. And in summit not all of their staff. For samaritans -- and at -- are operating the hospital where these two American missionaries became infected. They aren't currently in the process of evacuating about sixty non essential staff. However others doctors nurses others who are considered vital to -- operations. Will stayed behind and we also the peace corps. Has decided to take be -- -- step of pulling back 340. Of its American volunteers. Who are also on their way back to the United States and expected to arrived this weekend. On the other hand the CDC and other organizations are responding to this call for more help in order to be able to. Actually contain this outbreak and so they are sending over more staff more doctors. And this specially trained personnel going over. To help these countries deal with this outbreak or else it's just not possible. There's no other way that these countries will be able to finally halt this disease. And that is striking when you consider that -- president of the W eight show the World Health Organization said. Today they Ebola outbreak is -- faster than our efforts to control it. And yet when you hear from the doctors just now they're projecting. What I -- to be significant confidence saying that. They're -- they had had a department within their hospital to treat these patients. For fourteen years or more -- The -- saying that there is a very little chance he believes at all that there will be secondary cases for the Ebola Virus. Once those two patients arrive in the US. But -- curious to know you're take was from -- -- conference and the degree of confidence. You felt those doctors half. Yet that -- there's a very important point there that the aid organizations and that. Health's. Officials here in the US want to make it to Americans as we watch the response to this Ebola outbreak. And and and then that biggest point and that is that even though this is the first time that there will be actual Ebola cases. And that are known in the US being cared for they really want the American public to know. That here -- the yes we have the capabilities. To effectively. Manage those cases and two we we have the knowledge and we have the materials and the ability to keep. This disease from spreading. Be on the patients who are brought here now is an entirely different situation that they're dealing with in these. African countries where much of this outbreak is happening in very rural areas -- and there are just not the trained medical professionals. And awareness is not the education. Not only not the access to the medical care but also the education among the people. Who are becoming infected with the -- on what they are to do or not to do to protect themselves and -- stop this from spreading. ET here's an example in Liberia an all of Liberia this country of three and a half million people. There are only some 200 doctors. That's one doctor for approximately every 171000. People there's just not the medical there. Care available there to really help them get ahead of this outbreak. In the US we just haven't entirely -- different situation. -- -- I was I was interested to hear the doctors are ready speaking about even. The sort of mental health care support -- -- to aid workers will receive when they get here that they've been. They've been trained to be sensitive to the -- needs -- to aid workers will. Be undergoing when they're in solitary basically what is solitary confinement to recover. As as they do in the days ahead president Barack Obama deferring to the CDC. -- you know that they will be screening. For -- wind coming from those countries here to Washington for the upcoming conference I'm just curious when you have been talking to these aid organizations. I and they speak about the US effort is there a sense of the US and the world is responding appropriately I know the organization with him doctor. Jamison is affiliated who's already hearing in quarantines -- said that they were very. Very bullied to hear that there'll be a hundred million from -- WHIO. Send. As for the effort people deployed as you said more people on the ground but what's your take on how the US and -- the world. Is responding on the aid organizations. Faith to -- there's still much more to be done. Oh absolutely glory -- interestingly. Just days before it was. Known that these two American missionaries had been affected with the Ebola Virus. -- a spokesperson from samaritans purse had published an op Ed piece on the New York Times web -- basically saying why are we ignoring. This outbreak this is gone on too long there's just not enough help on the ground there and it's. It's going to get worse so there -- some warning aid organizations were trying to get some attention. Actually to this outbreak. Before. These western volunteers became infected. So if there is some positive to come out of this it's just that all the sudden. The world is paying attention and beginning to see just how desperate the situation has become and -- health officials say. We can they believe that this outbreak will be controlled. They won't happen immediately that it take some months but now that where if we put the funding in place and the people in place. And and now that we're sort of paying attention. To what's happening they believe that more lives will be saved soon. And is part of the program that they're talking about. I wonder if you've heard them speak of this simply -- education and that at this point there are some fundamental things. That the people in those areas simply do not know in terms of controlling an outbreak if you come into contact with someone sort of sanitary conditions. This must be a multi pronged approach in order to really change things on the ground is that the sense that you are hearing from them. Yes it is and it's not just about getting doctors and nurses over -- to -- people who are already sick in bids what's most important is. Is keeping this disease from spreading when somebody is sick -- keeping. The rest of the whole family healthy. And so what's happening is that when the patients are getting sick. According to traditional burial practices lots of times -- many people are holding -- handling the body. And the bodies of those sick patients obviously have you know blood or vomit or other fluids. That can carry the virus and so that's how that's easy these diseases spreading and so. Education. Getting the word out to these rural communities is a huge part of the effort that has to be made to contain this disease. And that's really need more more feet on the ground were people there will Bosnia and you'll keep us updated with the very latest thanks for your work. You can keep up with this story in real time. By downloading ABC news happened starting this story -- -- exclusive updates. On the go for now I'm Gloria Riviera in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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