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Two Americans with Ebola to Be Flown Back to US 'Early Next Week'

Fri, 01 Aug 2014 20:27:55 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Two American patients stricken with Ebola will not be flown from Africa to the U.S. until early next week, ABC News has learned.

The patients, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, were scheduled to be transported on Friday, but the organization that they work for, Samaritan's Purse, said in a statement that the transfer will not happen for several days.

"The two Americans who contracted Ebola in Liberia remain in the country today but medical evacuation efforts are underway and should be completed by early next week," according to the statement.

The State Department confirmed that they will be using a non-commercial aircraft and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention equipment during the medical evacuation which will take place "over the coming days," but they did not state the names of the two American citizens out of privacy concerns.

"Every precaution is being taken to move the patients safely and securely, to provide critical care en route on a non-commercial aircraft, and to maintain strict isolation upon arrival in the United States," the State Department statement said.

When they are flown back to the U.S., they will be transported one by one, sources said.

Initially only one of the two patients was going to be treated at Emory University Hospital's special facility containment unit but it was announced on Friday that both individuals will be treated at Emory.

"Emory University Hospital has a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases," hospital officials said. "It is physically separate from other patient areas and has unique equipment and infrastructure that provide an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation. It is one of only four such facilities in the country."

"Emory University Hospital physicians, nurses and staff are highly trained in the specific and unique protocols and procedures necessary to treat and care for this type of patient. For this specially trained staff, these procedures are practiced on a regular basis throughout the year so we are fully prepared for this type of situation," they added.

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