2nd American Ebola Patient Returns To U.S.

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Stephanie Lucero
Stephanie is an Emmy Award winning veteran reporter for CBS 11 N...
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The second American infected with the Ebola virus landed back in the United States early on Tuesday. Her private jet bound for Atlanta took off from Liberia on Monday night, touched down briefly in Maine early Tuesday morning, and finally arrived at its destination later on Tuesday morning. Around noon local time, an ambulance carrying  medical aid worker Nancy Writebol pulled up to Emory University Hospital, joining Fort Worth doctor Kent Brantly, who arrived a few days ago.

(credit: CBS 11 News/JD Miles)

(credit: CBS 11 News/JD Miles)

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There is word that Brantly is making a miraculous recovery. Members of the Southside Church of Christ in Fort Worth, where Brantly worshipped before going to West Africa for missionary work, are calling it the power of prayer.

But the medical team at Emory University Hospital said that Brantly’s fast recovery is the result of an experimental drug which the doctor received just in time. The drug is known as ZMapp. According to physicians at the hospital, it appears to reverse the effects of Ebola almost instantly. But it has not yet been completely evaluated for human safety.

The drug might be why Brantly was able to walk into the hospital on his own two feet upon landing back in the United States this past Saturday.

Writebol received that same serum just moments before her flight left Africa. Just as with Brantly, the plane was equipped with tools necessary to handle such an infectious disease. They will both be treated in an isolated wing of the hospital — in separate, self-contained, sterile rooms.

Writebol’s son said that his 59-year-old mother is struggling, but there already seems to have been noticeable improvement. Brantly’s congregation is praying for Writebol as well.

A doctor who survived the Ebola virus in 1972 said that he is hopeful for these two patients. “I do hope it was as impressive as being described,” Dr. Thomas Cairns said, “because that bodes very well for that particular product.”

The World Health Organization announced Monday that the Ebola death toll has increased to 887 across the West African nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. Brantly and Writebol were in Liberia to offer medical assistance.

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