Ebola is a viral disease, with its first known case appearing in 1976 in Nzara, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. It takes its name from the Ebola River near the Congolese village. Ebola has killed more than 3,400 people in West Africa. Once infected with this life-threatening disease, the virus will attack your internal organs. Some symptoms include a fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and a sore throat. This will soon turn into vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, impaired kidney and liver function, and can even lead to internal and external bleeding.
Ebola is spread via animals, such as monkeys, primates, forest antelope and porcupines, which have spread the disease in Africa. Human-to-human infection happens when contact is made with mucous membranes or the bodily fluids of carriers. Because this disease is extremely contagious, areas that have come in contact with such fluids have also become infected.
This terrible, and deadly, disease is not one found in the United States, until recently. Dr. Kent Brantly is an American doctor who contracted the Ebola virus while working in Liberia. Brantley went to Liberia with his wife and their two children last year to do a two-year fellowship. Initially he was there to practice medicine in general, but when the Ebola outbreak began he took on the role of medical director in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. It is believed that Brantley contracted the virus from another health care worker at the hospital. On August 2, 2014, Brantley was flown to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia and was immediately taken by ambulance to the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
Brantley was the first human to be treated with Zap, which was developed by the biotech firm Map Biopharmaceutical Inc.
On August 21, 2014 Brantly was released from Emory virus free!
NBC News’s Matt Lauer sits down for an exclusive interview with Brantly on September 2, 2104, not eve two weeks after he was released. It was recently released that one of Brantly’s fellow doctors has also contracted the virus at the same hospital in Liberia. July 23rd is when Brantly first started feeling off and confused. He knew that something was wrong, but Brantly was thankful that his wife Amber and two children went back home three days earlier. He was well aware that it was very possible he would not make it through the night. He felt like he was about to die, and he did not know how long he could continue breathing that way. Brantly wants his story to be told and heard so people do not ignore what many are facing now in Liberia.
Not only did this interview provide viewers with new and important insight regarding a patient surviving Ebola, but it also followed “The Art of the Interview” written by Eric Nalder, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter. Lauer show that he did research prior to the start of his interview, planned out exactly what he wanted to cover and organized it in a way that made sense. His opener was a straightforward introduction of Dr. Kent Brantly along with some background that was needed in order for viewers to be able to follow along. He was able to get Brantly to take about anything, and found common ground allowing for no awkward pauses or moments of silence.
Because Lauer used proper interviewing skills, the interview was able to flow smoothly allowing viewers to become informed and updated on Brantly’s condition and story.