American Ebola patients to be released from hospital - Tucson News Now

Ebola patients released from Emory Hospital

Dr. Kent Brantly, who worked as a medical missionary in Liberia, speaks to the media after he was released from the hospital on Thursday. (Source: CNN) Dr. Kent Brantly, who worked as a medical missionary in Liberia, speaks to the media after he was released from the hospital on Thursday. (Source: CNN)
Nancy Writebol, who was released earlier from Emory University Hospital, is pictured with her husband David. (Source: Serving in Mission) Nancy Writebol, who was released earlier from Emory University Hospital, is pictured with her husband David. (Source: Serving in Mission)

ATLANTA (RNN) - The head of the medical team that treated two Americans with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia announced their release Thursday morning and declared they were not a threat to the general public.

Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of the infectious disease unit at Emory University Hospital, announced during a news conference that Dr. Kent Brantly had recovered from his infection and would go home.

"Today is a miraculous day," Brantly said. "I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family. As a medical missionary, I never imagined myself in this position. When my family and I moved to Liberia last October, Ebola was not the radar. We moved to Liberia because God called us to serve the people of Liberia."

The other Ebola patient, Nancy Writebol, was released on Tuesday, according to a statement from Serving in Mission, the organization she worked for. She and her husband, David, have retreated to an unknown location where she will continue her recovery.

Brantly and Writebol were the only two confirmed U.S. Ebola patients. They were being treated at the hospital in a special isolation unit. Both patients received an experimental drug called ZMapp.

The drug, which works by attaching to the Ebola virus' protein, had not been tested on humans for safety and effectiveness.

Samaritan's Purse, the organization that Brantly worked for, initiated the procurement of ZMapp for use in his treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I'm very pleased at Mrs. Writebol and Dr. Brantly's recovery and pleased to have provided our care, training and experience to meet their healthcare needs," Ribner said.

The CDC later sent a tweet reiterating there was no risk of spreading the virus because of their release and no restrictions on their daily activities.

Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse, said he had marveled at Brantly's "courageous spirit" to fight the virus, with the help of the Emory staff.

"I know that Dr. Brantly and his wonderful family would ask that you please remember and pray for those in Africa battling, treating and suffering from Ebola," Graham said in a statement. "Those who have given up the comforts of home to serve the suffering and the less fortunate are in many ways just beginning this battle."

According to the World Health Organization, the virus has killed 1,340 as of Wednesday. There have been about 2,500 cases reported in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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