Emory Ebola team recounts experience, lessons in treating first U.S. patients

Nearly one year ago, two American medical missionaries infected with Ebola virus disease in Liberia were evacuated by air ambulance to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Emory's decision to treat these first patients in the United States with Ebola virus disease (EVD) as well as two additional patients, and the preparedness and protocols that led to their safe and successful treatment, are described in PLOS Medicine.

Lead author is Dr. David S. Stephens, vice president for research in Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center, professor and chair in the Department of Medicine, and faculty member of the IMP and MMG programs.

"Countries throughout the world will continue to be affected by future communicable disease threats and outbreaks," says Stephens. "The many challenges and the strategic and tactical lessons learned by Emory physicians, nurses, faculty, staff, and administrators in treating patients with Ebola virus disease provide us an opportunity to share information that may help others to prepare, prevent, and treat difficult emerging diseases. Our experience with Ebola virus disease as an academic health center demonstrates the importance of preparation, communications and detailed implementation."

Emory's decision to accept the patients was made in coordination with the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and was based on medical need, confidence in Emory's preparedness, including 12 years of training to address highly communicable diseases, and Emory's ability to use the experience to advance knowledge.

Click here to view the full story in the Emory News Center.