Indian American physician in Atlanta treating patients with Ebola virus

ATLANTA (TIP): An Indian American infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Jay Varkey, a physician at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, is the one in charge of treating the Ebola virus-infected aid worker Dr. Ken Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol. Brantly is already admitted to Emory – he walked into the hospital wearing an insulated suit, while Writebol will be brought to the US from West Africa later this week in all probability. Brantly works for the North Carolinabased Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse, and was brought to the US this past Saturday.

There is no known cure for Ebola, and standard procedures are to provide hydration with solutions containing electrolytes or intravenous fluids, according to the World Health Organization. The virus has infected 1,440 people so far, killing 826 of those victims, according to world health statistics. According to NBC, a team of doctors and nurses under Varkey will work around the clock in a special isolation room to treat Brantly of the side-effects of the Ebola Virus.

The room where he’s been kept is one of only four in the country. The room was created 12 years ago. It’s essentially a minihospital, complete with a lab and anything else the medical team will need. “I can’t think of a better place in the world, other than Emory University Hospital to care for this patient,” said Varkey, was quoted as saying by the NBC.

According to Varkey, the team has been training for years for this opportunity, though they have used the isolation room before to treat patients infected with SARS, in 2005. “We are ready.We are looking to trying to help this patient and assist his family in anyway possible,” Varkey said. “The good news is the preparation goes beyond 48 hours. This is something we’ve been practicing for, for the 12 years our unit has been involved.”

According to a report in Today, Varkey said he was “thrilled” to see the patient walk into Emory, which he assured, is built to contain communicable diseases “far more infectious than Ebola.” Varkey said though the isolated patients cannot have direct contact with anybody else, relatives can see him and communicate with him. According to Emory’s website, Varkey attended the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and then did his residency at the Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, from where he got a fellowship too. (Source: NBC and agencies)

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