First American Ebola patient due to arrive in U.S. today

Last Updated Aug 2, 2014 11:11 AM EDT

The first of the two American aid workers infected with Ebola was due to be transported to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Saturday for urgently needed treatment.

Late Saturday morning, aid organization Samaritan's Purse confirmed to CBS News that Dr. Kent Brantly was on the flight.

The rapidly expanding outbreak in West Africa has already killed more than 700 people, and health officials are racing to keep up.

When the private plane used to separately carry the aid workers lands in the U.S., it will touch down at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, CBS News' Vicente Arenas reports. The patients will then be transferred to Emory University Hospital.

"We have developed a unit which can safely care for a patient with a serious communicable disease, delivering the highest level of care required, including intensive-care unit," Emory Dr. Bruce Ribner told reporters.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden said 50 agency workers are going to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to treat patients and to try to prevent the outbreak from expanding.

"We do not see Ebola spreading within the U.S.," said Frieden. "The way it spreads is not by casual contact, and it's only from people who are very ill."

Amid the outbreak, nearly 50 delegations from African countries are flying to Washington this weekend for a three-day U.S.-Africa leaders summit that begins Monday.

"This is something we take very seriously," President Obama told reporters Friday.

Mr. Obama said U.S. health officials will take precautions.

"We're making sure we're doing screening on that end as they leave the country," the president said. "We'll do additional screening when we're here. We feel confident that the procedures that we've put in place are appropriate."

The CDC said that while it's ready to handle any reported cases of Ebola in the U.S., it cautions there is no reason to be concerned about an outbreak.

"I really hope that our fears, particularly our irrational fears, don't outweigh our compassion," Frieden said.

The isolation unit is in a building that is separated from the others. Visitors will have to stand behind a glass wall and use an intercom system to communicate.

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