TIME Infectious Disease

American Doctor With Ebola ‘Improving,’ Says CDC Chief

Handout photo of Dr. Kent Brantly speaking with colleagues at the case management center on the campus of ELWA Hospital in Monrovia
In an undated handout photograph courtesy of Samaritan's Purse, Dr. Kent Brantly, right, with colleagues at the case management center on the campus of ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. Brantly, who contracted Ebola, is receiving treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Samaritan's Purse/Reuters

Dr. Kent Brantly arrived in the U.S. on Saturday after catching the disease in Liberia

An American doctor infected with the Ebola virus “seems to be improving,” the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday.

“We’re hoping he’ll continue to improve,” Dr. Tom Frieden said during an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation. “But Ebola is such a scary disease because it’s so deadly. I can’t predict the future for individual patients.”

Dr. Kent Brantly arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment on Saturday after catching the deadly infection in Liberia, where he was working with a charity and overseeing Ebola patients. Brantly is the first person with Ebola to enter the U.S.

Nancy Writebol, another American battling the Ebola virus, is expected to return to the U.S. from Liberia, where she was doing medical missionary work, in the next few days as well.

“I hope that our understandable fear of the unfamiliar does not trump our compassion when ill Americans return to the U.S. for care,” Frieden said, noting that he has received angry calls and emails from other Americans concerned about Brantly’s return to the U.S. for treatment.

Though the Emory hospital is one of four in the country that are equipped to handle the most dangerous infectious diseases, the Ebola virus can usually be contained with standard infection-control measures, as it spreads through direct contact with bodily fluids.

More than 700 people have died from the recent Ebola outbreak in parts of West Africa.

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