Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Kent Brantly | Ebola | donates | blood | Ashoka Mukpo | journalist

Kent Brantly Donates Blood to Journalist Ill With Ebola

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 11:47 AM

Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American to be flown back to the United States after contracting Ebola in West Africa, has donated potentially life-saving blood to NBC News freelancer Ashoka Mukpo, who is being treated in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Medical Center, where the photojournalist is undergoing treatment, contacted Brantly and asked him to donate plasma after learning his blood type was a match, Mukpo's family told NBC News on Wednesday.

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Officials believe that the blood of people who have recovered from Ebola contains antibodies that could help other patents fight the deadly virus, reports The New York Times.

The World Health Organization is talking with countries in Africa about how to collect such plasma donations, and says in an advisory that the concept that the treatment works "is biologically plausible, as convalescent plasma has been used successfully for the treatment of a variety of infectious agents."

Brantly was traveling between Indiana and Texas when he got the call from the medical center, reports NBC News. Minutes later, he stopped at the Community Blood Center in Kansas City, Missouri, to donate the plasma, and it was flown from Kansas City into Nebraska.

The doctor still works for the Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse, the group he had been working with in West Africa when he contracted Ebola. In addition to Mukpo, Brantly donated blood for Dr. Rick Sacra, another aid worker who contracted Ebola.

Sacra recovered from the disease, but over the weekend was admitted to a Massachusetts hospital for a respiratory illness that was not believed to be caused by the Ebola virus.

Sacra returned to Massachusetts on Sept. 25 after also being treated at the Nebraska hospital where Mukpo is currently hospitalized.

On Wednesday, Mukpo's father, Dr. Mitchell Levy, told NBC News he is touched by Brantly's help, saying the blood donation is an "act of kindness and generosity [that] makes me believe in the goodness of humanity."

Mukpo is also receiving an experimental drug, brincidofovir, the same drug prescribed for Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, who died Wednesday morning of the virus in a Dallas hospital. Before Duncan, the drug had never been tested on a human being.

Ebola has killed some 3,400 people in West Africa during the current outbreak.

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Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American to be flown back to the United States after contracting Ebola in West Africa, has donated potentially life-saving blood to NBC News freelancer Ashoka Mukpo, who is being treated in Nebraska.
Kent Brantly, Ebola, donates, blood, Ashoka Mukpo, journalist
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Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 11:47 AM
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