An outbreak of the Ebola virus is at the forefront after two infected Americans came to Atlanta for treatment.
The second patient arrived Tuesday at Emory University Hospital, according to ABC.
The two health care workers flew in from Africa after helping patients with the disease in Liberia. Both patients received an experimental antibody serum before being flown to the U.S.
As of the latest figures announced at Aug. 4, there were 1,009 confirmed cases and 574 deaths in this outbreak, according to the World Health Organization. Officials have tried to slow the fear and panic in America because no one known to have Ebola is in the country. However, the plan to move the patients here has raised questions.
Why bring people known to have the virus here?
Bringing infected Americans to the United States gives the two patients the best chance to live, Emory University Hospital Dr. Bruce Ribner said, according to ABC News.
"The reason we are bringing these patients back to our facility is because we feel they deserve to have the highest level of care offered for their treatment," Ribner said according to ABC News. "They have become infected through medical care and we feel we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery."
What is Ebola how long have humans been impacted by the disease?
In 1976, the first Ebolavirus species was found in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus was found near the Ebola River. Scientists have identified five subspecies of the virus that cause Ebola hemorrhagic fever is often a fatal disease.
How does it spread?
The virus can be transferred through direct contact with blood or other fluid transfer from an infected person and/or exposure to items such as contaminated needles, according to the CDC. People get sick anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure, so it could take nearly a month to know whether the virus has stopped spreading. Ebola HF typically impacts family members caring for a sick relative and health workers.
What are the symptoms?
According to the CDC, people with Ebola HF normally get flu-like symptoms that include headaches, fever, body aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain or lack of appetite. People also could have bleeding inside and outside of the body along with red eyes and trouble breathing.
Is there a cure?
No, scientists have not developed a cure for the disease.
Where is the virus now?
The WHO has reported confirmed cases of Ebola HF in Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Previous outbreaks have affected the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Uganda, Republic of the Congo and South Africa.
Where will the patients coming to America be treated?
ABC News reported the two infected have been brought to Emory University Hospital’s specialized isolation ward, which is one of only four in the nation. The ward is designed to treat people with infectious diseases and medical personnel will be wearing specific equipment designed to prevent the spread of disease.
What happens when someone gets the disease?
Treatment is limited for Ebola HF. But medical personnel try to give fluids to patients, maintain oxygen and blood pressure and treat for other complicating infections, according to the CDC. Patients should be isolated and treated by professionals wearing proper protective clothing. The CDC has reported experimental treatments that work on animals but have not been tried on humans.
What don’t scientists know?
There are a lot of questions about Ebola. Scientists are not certain of how exactly people get infected with the virus, and so prevention has been difficult. They are also still working to figure out how to cure the disease.