Ebola doctor 'improving' after experimental serum

(WFAA) -- There is some positive news to report about the condition of Dr. Kent Brantly, the Fort Worth physician who contracted the Ebola virus while working with the Samaritan's Purse relief agency in Liberia.

Brantly was transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Saturday, becoming the first known Ebola patient in the U.S.

See Also: What you need to know about the Ebola virus

In a statement issued Sunday, Samaritan's Purse said Brantly appears to be beating the odds of the incurable illness that has a staggering mortality rate:

"We praise God for the news that Kent's condition is improving. We can confirm that Kent was able to receive a dose of the experimental serum prior to leaving Liberia. Please continue to pray for Kent, the people of Liberia, and all those who are serving there in Jesus' Name."

Many health experts were surprised when Brantly was seen Saturday walking from an ambulance to an Emory hospital entrance with minimal assistance.

Samaritan's Purse also released a written statement from Brantly's wife, Amber:

"Our family is rejoicing over Kent's safe arrival, and we are confident that he is receiving the very best care. We are very grateful to the staff at Emory University Hospital, who have been so nice and welcoming to us. I was able to see Kent today. He is in good spirits. He thanked everyone for their prayers and asked for continued prayer for Nancy Writebol's safe return and full recovery."

Writebol was working in the same unit as Brantly when she, too, was diagnosed with Ebola. The same medical evacuation jet that brought him to Atlanta is expected to transfer Writebol to Atlanta early Tuesday morning.

There is no cure for the Ebola virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills at least 60 percent of the people it infects in Africa. At least 729 people have died in West Africa this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Complete Ebola Coverage:
- Ebola patient Dr. Kent Brantly walks into Emory Hospital
- Second Ebola patient awaiting return to USA
- First Ebola patient to arrive at Emory Saturday
- CDC works to keep Ebola virus from spreading
- Ebola outbreak prevents man from returning to Africa
- Ebola virus: What you need to know about the deadly outbreak


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