Nancy Writebol, the woman with Wichita ties who recently contracted Ebola as a missionary in Liberia, is in worsening health, according to SIM USA, the organization with which she serves.
Emory University Hospital in Atlanta is preparing to receive a patient infected with the virus in the next several days, though the hospital did not name a specific patient. The patient will be put in a special containment unit set up in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to treat people with serious infectious diseases.
Two American aid workers have contracted the disease, including Writebol, according to Associated Press reporting.
A CDC spokeswoman told the Washington Post it would be the first time an Ebola patient has been treated in the United States.
Writebol is receiving an experimental drug that doctors hope will “better address her condition,” according to a news release sent Thursday. She is still listed in serious condition.
Writebol contracted the disease while serving as a nurse’s aide with Samaritan’s Purse, a partner organization of SIM. Her husband, David, was exposed to the virus as well but so far has not tested positive.
There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Ebola; it typically has a fatality rate of 60 to 90 percent. It causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea and massive internal bleeding.
“Even though her condition has worsened, we know she is receiving the best possible medical care, and we are thankful that she has access to this experimental drug,” SIM USA President Bruce Johnson said in the release.
Her son, Jeremy Writebol, is the associate pastor of Journey the Way, a church in Wichita’s Delano neighborhood. He said he talks to his mother every day by cellphone.
Writebol did not respond to a message seeking comment Thursday night.