Experts seek to reassure Americans about Ebola risk

ATLANTA (AP) — The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa and health officials say it could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread. So why would anyone allow infected Americans to come to Atlanta?

The answer, experts say, is because Emory University Hospital, with its super-secure isolation unit, is one of the safest places in the world to treat someone with Ebola.

Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be treating two infected Americans there, insists that "nothing comes out of this unit until it is non-infectious."

He also says medical workers risking their lives overseas deserve the best treatment they can get.

Dr. Kent Brantly, who arrived from Africa yesterday, was the first person infected with Ebola to be brought to the United States. Fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol is expected to arrive in several days.

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden (FREE'-den), says his agency received "nasty emails" and at least 100 calls from people questioning why the sick aid workers should be let into the country.

He says he understands people's concerns, but he hopes that "fear of the unfamiliar does not trump our compassion" for ailing fellow Americans.

%@AP Links

146-a-10-(Dr. Jay Varkey, infectious disease specialist, Emory Healthcare, at news conference outside Emory University Hospital)-"through the air"-Infectious disease specialist Dr. Jay Varkey of Emory Healthcare says it's important for the public to realize that there's no risk of getting sick from breathing the same air as an Ebola patient. (2 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *146 (08/02/14)££ 00:10 "through the air"

144-a-13-(Dr. Jay Varkey, infectious disease specialist, Emory Healthcare, at news conference outside Emory University Hospital)-"for 12 years"-Infectious disease specialist Dr. Jay Varkey of Emory Healthcare says the medical team is well prepared to care for Ebola patient Dr. Kent Brantly. (2 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *144 (08/02/14)££ 00:13 "for 12 years"

095-a-06-(Dr. Thomas Frieden, director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in interview)-"doing so well"-CDC Director Thoma Frieden says he cannot predict whether Dr. Kenty Brantly will totally recover from Ebola. COURTESY: Fox News Sunday ((mandatory on-air credit)) (3 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *095 (08/03/14)££ 00:06 "doing so well"

097-a-12-(Dr. Thomas Frieden, director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in interview)-"is done meticulously"-CDC Director Thomas Frieden says old fashioned medical practices will help halt the spread of Ebola in West Africa. COURTESY: Fox News Sunday ((mandatory on-air credit)) (3 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *097 (08/03/14)££ 00:12 "is done meticulously"

APPHOTO GAMS104: An ambulance arrives with Ebola victim Dr. Kent Brantly, right, to Emory University Hospital, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, in Atlanta. Brantly, infected with the Ebola virus in Africa arrived in Atlanta for treatment Saturday, landing in a specially equipped plane at a military base, then being whisked away to one of the most sophisticated hospital isolation units in the country, officials say. (AP Photo/WSB-TV Atlanta) METRO ATLANTA TV OUT (2 Aug 2014)

<<APPHOTO GAMS104 (08/02/14)££

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.