Husband: Ebola patient showing positive signs of improvement - WSMV Channel 4

Husband: Ebola patient showing positive signs of improvement

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The second American infected with the Ebola virus in Liberia and brought to Emory University Hospital is undergoing treatment after arriving in Atlanta on Tuesday.

A jet, which was specially modified for the care of Ebola patients, left Liberia at 9:12 p.m. EST Monday with infected aid worker Nancy Writebol aboard. It landed at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta at about 11:30 a.m. after a brief stop in Bangor, Maine, to refuel.

After her arrival, Writebol was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Emory University Hospital at about 12:30 p.m. Her ambulance was escorted by police along the route.

People lined up along the roadway to Emory to snap photos of the ambulance as it arrived.

Writebol could be seen from Chopper46 being wheeled into the hospital on a gurney by two medical personnel, all three were wearing hazmat suits.

SIM, the Christian missionary organization Writebol works for, held a press conference to discuss her condition Tuesday afternoon.

Bruce Johnson, president of SIM said Writebol's sons Jeremy and Ryan are "looking forward to having time with mom."

Jeremy was expected to talk to the media Tuesday, however, he told Johnson he needed to be with his mother at this time.

"We are tremendously relieved that our mother is back in the U.S.," Jeremy Writebol said in a statement. "We know that she will receive the best medical care possible at Emory University Hospital. We're grateful to everyone who has joined us in praying for this moment. Please continue to pray for her and for Dr. Kent Brantly."

Writebol's husband David is still in Liberia.

"Nancy is still very, very weak, but shows continued, but slow improvement," said Johnson. "She is showing signs of progress and moving in the right direction."

"We still have a long way to go, but we have reason to hope, added Johnson."

In a phone call with Johnson, David said his wife Nancy was able to stand up and walk onto the plane in Liberia with some assistance. She also has an improved appetite, eating soup and yogurt before boarding the plane. Doctors have said those are both positive signs.

"Nancy and I are profoundly grateful to the U.S. government and all the machinery that was marshalled on our behalf and what it took to get her home," said David. "I am very happy. And I am extremely grateful. I am not anxious, fretful or fearful – just relieved."

"A week ago we were thinking about making funeral arrangements for Nancy," Mr. Writebol continued. "Now we have a real reason to be hopeful."

David will be returning to the United States soon. There is no word yet on his exact arrival date.

The other patient infected with the deadly virus, a doctor, is showing signs of improvement, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Kent Brantly arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Saturday. Brantly was infected while caring for patients in Liberia.

Emory University Hospital has one of four units in the world equipped to treat highly infectious patients.

It has been reported that patients with the Ebola virus have a 69 percent mortality rate. However, Dr. Jay Varkey with Emory University Hospital said that mortality rate pertains to developing countries.

"Some of you were here in August of 2009 when Metro Atlanta had the highest H1N1 … rates in the country. Realize that the fact that the initial mortality rates coming out of Mexico when that outbreak started in May were nearly 50 percent. When we looked at it the real associated mortality with the influenza that year was about 11 percent," Varkey said.

Varkey said Emory University Hospital has the best equipment available to treat Ebola patients, which increases the survival rate.

The two Americans infected with Ebola are getting an experimental drug so novel it has never been tested for safety in humans, according to the AP.

Ebola has killed at least 887 people in four West African countries.

CBS46 will continue to bring you the latest developments in this story on CBS46 News and CBS46.com.

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Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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