Medical officials at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital say they are prepared to treat an American humanitarian worker infected with the deadly Ebola virus who returned to the United States today.

Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, the first of two Americans who became seriously ill with the virus while working in West Africa, landed today in Georgia. He was transported on a private jet with a portable tent specially constructed for patients with serious infectious diseases. A second American aid worker, Nancy Writebol, is scheduled for a later flight.

Via ABC News:

"The reason we are bringing these patients back to our facility is because we feel they deserve to have the highest level of care offered for their treatment," Dr. Bruce Ribner, who oversees Emory University isolation unit, said at a press conference. "They have become infected through medical care, and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections."

Brantly, who works for Samaritan's Purse, and Writebol, of SIM, were working at a Liberian hospital, helping patients infected with Ebola, a virus that is spread through bodily fluids or direct contact with blood. Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria are seeing their largest ever Ebola outbreak. There have been a total of 729 deaths from Ebola as of July 27, according to the World Health Organization.

Emory University Hospital was chosen because it is one of only four U.S. facilities with a containment unit—developed with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—to treat patients with a serious communicable disease, the Associated Press reports.

[Image via AP]