U.S. Doctor Infected with Ebola 'Improving'

A top U.S. health official says that the American doctor who contracted the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia "seems to be improving."

The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, said Sunday that he cannot predict the future for individual patients, but that it is encouraging that Dr. Kent Brantly appears to be getting better.

Brantly, with help, was able to walk into a hospital in the southern U.S. state of Georgia on Saturday after a flight from Africa in a special isolation unit. He had been in Liberia working for a Christian charity responding to the worst Ebola outbreak on record, with more than 700 people in West Africa dying from the infection.

In this 2014 photo provided by the Samaritans Purse aid organization, Dr. Kent Brantly (left) treats an Ebola patient at the Samaritans Purse Ebola Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia. /AP In this 2014 photo provided by the Samaritan's Purse aid organization, Dr. Kent Brantly (left) treats an Ebola patient at the Samaritan's Purse Ebola Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia. /AP

One of Brantly's colleagues, missionary Nancy Writebol, contracted Ebola alongside him and is also expected to be returned to the U.S. for treatment in the coming days.

Frieden told CBS's "Face the Nation" program that a widespread outbreak of the disease in the U.S. is unlikely because the United States has better infection controls in hospitals and burial procedures than in Africa.

Ebola is a hemorrhagic virus with a death rate of up to 90 percent of those infected. The death rate in the current epidemic has been about 60 percent.

VOA News / Aug. 04, 2014 08:02 KST