Heroic Ebola survivor reveals how he contracted disease

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 23, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a Fox News alert. A possible case of Ebola in New York City. A doctor who recently returned from West Africa is right now being treated for Ebola possibility at a Manhattan hospital. The doctor was working for Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. After returning to New York, he had high symptoms and fever. We are awaiting his test results.

And just moments ago, news that another West African country has confirmed its first case of Ebola, Molly. The patient is a two-year-old girl. Also, today, and this is good news, the NBC cameraman who recovered from Ebola is now back home on Rhode Island. And more good news, Dallas nurse Amber Vinson is also now Ebola-free and there's Nina Pham. She is in good condition tonight.

And now, the first American who got Ebola and survived, Dr. Kent Brantly of Samaritan's Purse, is here with us tonight. Nice to see you.


VAN SUSTEREN: We have a good friend in common, the Reverend Franklin Graham.


VAN SUSTEREN: So how do you feel?

BRANTLY: I feel great, Greta. I feel great.

VAN SUSTEREN: Perfect, completely back to normal as they say?

BRANTLY: I need to exercise more, but I'm pretty good.

VAN SUSTEREN: How did you get Ebola? Is it working with Ebola-infected contagious patients or what?

BRANTLY: I am convinced I didn't contract Ebola inside the isolation unit. I was still also evaluating patients.


BRANTLY: In Liberia. I was taking care of patients in the isolation unit, the Ebola treatment unit, but I was also evaluating patients in the emergency room and I had contact with a lot of patients without all the protective gear who later were confirmed to have Ebola. And I'm very confident that I contracted Ebola from one of those patients in the emergency room.

VAN SUSTEREN: I saw BBC two weeks ago, a woman -- I don't know. But she said that the thing that upset them the most about when you got sick, they all said they knew you were and that you were the most meticulous about it. So they were stunned if Dr. Brantly could get Ebola, you know, how incredibly contagious this is.

BRANTLY: I was surprised that I had contracted it also but again, I felt confident and still do feel confident that our procedures, our process, our equipment in that isolation unit following NSF protocols, we were safe in that unit and I will continue to say I contracted Ebola outside of that isolation unit.

VAN SUSTEREN: Would you go back?

BRANTLY: I would, I would. And I hope to go back some day with my family.

VAN SUSTEREN: There's news tonight that a man who work with Doctors Without Borders, a doctor is in isolation tonight. You've given blood to the cameraman in Nebraska who is now at home with his family in Rhode Island and the nurse in Texas. Have you been contacted to give blood to this doctor?

BRANTLY: I have not, but we have to find out if he actually has Ebola or something else like malaria.

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed, that's right. It could possibly be malaria. All right. What's it like to be in isolation?

BRANTLY: It's lonely. It gives you a lot of time to sit and think. You know, living inside, I stepped off my room one day, it was 12 feet by 14 feet and I was there for three weeks. It is also mentally trying because you have no contact with another human being.

VAN SUSTEREN: Were you ambulatory the whole time?

BRANTLY: I was not. After a few days of my illness, I could not walk beyond my bedroom door and later on when I got even sicker I was bed-bound for a couple days.

VAN SUSTEREN: I got a phone call from Franklin Graham and he was giving the details of how dreadfully sick you were, and then got a remarkable phone call after you got the experiment drug ZMapp, I think that's the experimental drug you got, he said that you were so much better all of a sudden. It seemed almost all of a sudden.

BRANTLY: I did have a very dramatic response to the ZMapp. My condition stabilized. I was incredibly sick. I mean, I was on the verge of death. My condition stabilized. And my strength improved for about 36 to 48 hours and was able to get up and walk around, and do things I haven't done for a day or two.

VAN SUSTEREN: And now the news about Africa, it is getting worse in Africa. It is just so sad what is going on there.

BRANTLY: It is, heartbreaking.

VAN SUSTEREN: What can we do?

BRANTLY: You know, the United States government has made great commitments and we have boots on the ground there. There are lots of other organizations, Samaritan's Purse, MSF, other non-governmental organizations that are working hard on the ground but the international community has to come through. The commitments that were made by the United States government, we still haven't seen them all come to fruition. The air bridge we need the military to be providing that transportation support for volunteers and for equipment.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, indeed. It is a horrible crisis there. Anyway, Dr. Brantly very nice to see you in person, glad that you're doing so well, thanks for joining us.

BRANTLY: Thank you, Greta.