BOONE, N.C. -- A Samaritan's Purse doctor afflicted with the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, declined to take an experimental serum, insisting that a missionary be given the treatment instead.
Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol of Charlotte remain in stable but grave condition after contracting Ebola at the hospital in Liberia where they were treating patients of the outbreak.
Brantly took a slight turn for the worse overnight, said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse, the international Christian relief organization headquartered in Boone.
"An experimental serum arrived in the country Wednesday, but there was only enough for one person. Dr. Brantly asked that it be given to Nancy Writebol," Graham said.
"However, Dr. Brantly received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola because of Dr. Brantly's care. The young boy and his family wanted to be able to help the doctor who saved his life."
Emory University Hospital in Atlanta confirms they will be taking in an Ebola patient to its special containment unit, but the hospital says they don't know as of now which patient it will be.
Samaritan's Purse is evacuating all but the most essential personnel to their home countries, but declined to say how many people are leaving West Africa. The evacuation should be completed this weekend. The exact timeline and destinations are being kept confidential to respect their privacy. Samaritan's Purse is taking precautions that exceed the standards recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
None of the evacuating staff are ill, and the World Health Organization and CDC continue to reiterate that people are not contagious unless they begin showing symptoms. Following their evacuation, Samaritan's Purse will work with staff to monitor their health.
The Ebola virus has killed more than 670 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone since March, the largest recorded outbreak of the disease.
Samaritan's Purse has taken the lead in West Africa in combating the outbreak, partnering with World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, Doctors Without Borders and government health officials.
There is no known cure for Ebola, which begins with symptoms including fever and sore throat and escalates to vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding.
The WHO says the disease is not contagious until a person begins to show symptoms.
"Please continue to pray for Kent and Nancy and all those who are affected by Ebola, and the tremendous group of doctors and nurses who are caring for them," Samaritan's Purse said in a statement.