Ebola-infected missionary Nancy Writebol showing signs of improvement

Writebol's husband and son report on her condition.

Published 14 August 2014  |  
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Nancy and David Writebol

The family of Ebola-infected missionary Nancy Writebol reported this week that she is steadily improving since being transported to the United States.

Writebol's husband and son told reporters that she is responding well to the treatment she is receiving at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

David Writebol, who is also a missionary, said that he sees an improvement in his wife each time he speaks to her.

"Each time I talk to her, I get a sense her voice is clearer and brighter," he told CNN on Wednesday. "So, I'm imagining that she's getting stronger, and she tells me that she is feeling better and getting stronger. So, I'm imagining that she's getting stronger, and she tells me that she is feeling better and getting stronger.

"She's still very weak. We're not quite ready to say she's out of the woods. ...But it's moving in the right direction. From everything that I'm hearing, we're making progress. I'm so thankful she's in a place where she's getting good care."

David, who was in Liberia with Nancy, is in quarantine along with two other missionaries in a North Carolina RV camp. The couple was aiding Ebola patients in Monrovia through the Serving in Mission humanitarian group when Nancy became infected with the deadly virus.

She was medically evacuated to Atlanta on August 5.

Writebol's son, Jeremy, has been able to see his mother twice a day through a window in the hospital's isolation ward.

He reported that his mother started getting better after being treated with the experimental drug ZMapp.

"She's been doing well," he told the Today Show on Tuesday. "We've just seen her get physically better. Her eyes brighten up, her countenance goes up. [She's] smiling, even joking a little bit."

The drug was also given to Ebola-infected, American doctor Kent Brantly – who is also receiving treatment at Emory University Hospital. He too is recovering well.

ZMapp was shipped to Liberia on Wednesday, and officials hope the drug will help treat the infected and contain the virus' spread.

The Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in February, and quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. There are also Ebola-infected persons in Nigeria. The World Health Organisation announced this week that 1,013 people have died from the virus.

Despite the risks, Jeremy said he would not be surprised if his parents returned to Africa after they are medically released.

"It won't be an easy decision for them but I wouldn't be surprised," he said.

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