IUSM '09 grad ill with Ebola

July 30, 2014

Kent Brantly

Kent Brantly, M.D.

Kent Brantly, M.D., a 2009 graduate of the IU School of Medicine, is one of two United States citizens who recently fell ill with the Ebola virus contracted from patients they were caring for as medical missionaries in Liberia.

Dr. Brantly, 33, contracted the virus while working for the Christian aid group, Samaritan's Purse.

On Aug. 2, Dr. Brantly, from Fort Worth, Texas, arrived at a special isolation unit at Emory University Aug. 2. The other U.S. citizen to contract the virus, hygienist Nancy Writebol, a North Carolina missionary, arrived Aug. 5. The pair is believed to be the first two people ever treated for Ebola at a hospital in the United States.

In addition to his connections to the IUSM Class of 2009, Dr. Brantly's father and uncle were physicians at IU. His uncle, Frank Black, M.D., was the founding director of the IUSM Emergency Medicine Residency Program and served in that capacity until the early 1980s when he departed IU to become a medical missionary in Africa.  Dr. Brantly's father, Jim Brantly, M.D., trained in internal medicine at Methodist Hospital before the specialty of emergency medicine was recognized. Dr. Jim Brantly also served as medical director of the emergency department at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin, Ind., and retired from that position around 2012.

News reports say more than 1,200 people have been infected in four western African nations and more than half have died from the virus.

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