CHARLOTTE: Charlotte woman with Ebola is 'very weak and tired' - KCTV5

Friends say Charlotte woman infected with Ebola 'very weak and tired'

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David and Nancy Writebol (Photo: SIM.org) David and Nancy Writebol (Photo: SIM.org)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -

A Charlotte woman who volunteered to save the lives of Ebola patient in Liberia is now fighting the disease herself while her friends at home pray for her recovery.

Boone-based Samaritan's Purse announced Sunday that Nancy Writebol had become the second American to contract the deadly disease since the recent outbreak began in March. She and her husband, David Writebol, have been in Liberia since August 2013.

"They are just the most genuine, humble, salt of the earth people that I have ever known," friend Bill Bailey told WCNC. "David and Nancy Writebol are our very best friends. They mean more to us than anyone else we know on this earth."

Part of Nancy Writebol's job was disinfecting doctors and nurses working with Ebola patients. But last week, she started feeling sick herself.

"She said, 'I've been diagnosed with Malaria and I'm just not feeling well,' " said Laura Bailey, Bill Bailey's wife.

But it wasn't Malaria, and now Nancy Writebol is battling a disease that kills 90 percent of its victims.

Nancy Writebol is being treated at her home in Liberia, and the only way Bill and Nancy Bailey said David Writebol is able to communicate with his wife is via a cell phone. The only way he can see her is through a window.

Bill Bailey told WCNC that Nancy Writebol's condition changes "hour by hour."

"Today, [David] said she's hanging in there," Bill Bailey said. "She's doing about as well as could be expected. Maybe a little bit better than yesterday -- but very, very weak and tired."

Nancy Bailey added, "It is tough. You just want to be there, you want to comfort them and talk to them and hold them."

Nancy Writebol is the second American to contract the disease. On Saturday, Samaritan's Purse said its medical director, Dr. Kent Brantly, had tested positive for Ebola.

"We're all sort of devastated by it," said Ken Isaacs, with Samaritan's Purse. "But at the same time, we find room for optimism because in both cases the disease was not only diagnosed very quickly, but we were able to begin intensive supportive care."

Brantly began treatments on Sunday; but his colleague, Dr. David Mcray, told the Associated Press that Brantly "went into Ebola exhausted" from treating Ebola patients.

Mcray said Brantly's prognosis is grave and efforts to evacuate him to Europe for treatment have been thwarted because of concerns expressed by countries he would have to fly over en route to any European destination.

There is no known cure for Ebola, which begins with symptoms including fever and sore throat and escalates to vomiting, diarrhea and internal bleeding. The disease spreads through direct contact with blood and other bodily fluids as well as indirect contact with "environments contaminated with such fluids," according to the World Health Organization.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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