WASHINGTON (WUSA9/CBS) -- Two Americans who are infected with the Ebola virus are headed to Atlanta for treatment.
It will be the first time ever that a patient with the virus will be treated in the US.
Health officials call this Ebola outbreak the worst in history. So far, the viral disease has infected more than 1,300 in West Africa. More than 700 people died. Doctors and staff at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta are preparing for the arrival of at least one American Ebola patient.
In a press conference today, President Obama says, "We are taking the appropriate precautions. The key is identifying, quarantining, isolating those who contract it and making sure practices are in place to avoid transmission."
Dr. Kent Brantley and Nancy Writebol were working in Liberia when they were infected. Both were given antibodies from an Ebola survivor. Writebol got an experimental serum, there was only enough for one person. This plane was retrofitted with medical equipment and an isolation chamber to transport the patients. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel alert.
Dr. Sujata Ambardar of Inova Fairfax Hospital says the virus can affect every part of the body. Those infected can develop organ dysfunction, liver failure and septic shock.
Dr. Ambardar says, "People can start out with symptoms such as fatigue, maliase, weakness. And then as they get more sick, they can have symptoms such as headache, vomiting and diarrhea."
The virus is spread through bodily fluid contact and has no cure. But, Dr. Ambardar says we don't have to be too concerned here in the metro area.
"People in the United States at this point are not really at risk. And experts, at least for now, are not expecting any big outbreaks, but they are cautioning that we need to be extremely careful," adds Dr. Ambardar.
It can take up to 10 days for symptoms of the Ebola virus to occur.