Protecting caregivers from Ebola virus

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - A specially-outfitted jet is expected to leave Liberia late Monday and arrive in Atlanta on Tuesday morning carrying Ebola virus patient Nancy Writebol.

When Ebola patient Dr. Kent Brantly stepped out of an ambulance as he arrived at Emory University in Atlanta, he appeared to wear as much protective gear as his caregiver.

"Pull that down. And let me get the battery for you," said Dr. Robert Emery, the vice president of safety at UT Health, as he demonstrated part of a protective suit used to protect caregivers.

Emery demonstrated a battery-powered, high-tech helmet that includes a shield and an air conditioner.

"They're flying those guys back on the plane? They're going to be wearing that. Which is going to make life a lot easier for them because you can tell how miserable it is. Especially in the field," Emery said.

A fan in the helmet circulates air around your face. This is vital for caregivers working with Ebola patients near the equator.

Both Brantly and Writebol will be treated in a special isolation unit at the hospital at Emory that was built in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also in Atlanta.

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