Two US aid workers released from Atlanta hospital after being cleared of Ebola
Blood tests show no evidence of virus and symptoms had eased
Kent Brantly, an Ebola patient at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, with his wife, Amber Brantly, during a press conference announcing his release from the hospital yesterday. Photograph: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images
Nancy Writebol with children in Liberia in October 2013. She is one of two Americans working for a missionary group in Liberia who were infected with the Ebola virus, and who have been discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after receiving treatment. Photograph: AP courtesy Jeremy Writebol
Two American aid workers who just weeks ago were gravely ill with Ebola they contracted in Liberia now pose no health risk to the public after being cleared of the virus and released from an Atlanta hospital, one of their doctors said yesterday.
Dr Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who both contracted the deadly virus while working for Christian organisations, were discharged after blood tests showed no evidence of the virus and symptoms had eased, said Dr Bruce Ribner, medical director of the infectious disease unit at Emory University Hospital.
They are likely to make a complete recovery from the disease that has killed 1,350 people in West Africa, Dr Ribner said.
“I am forever thankful to God for sparing my life,” Dr Brantly, who was working for the Christian relief group Samaritan’s Purse, said during a news conference that marked his first public appearance since walking into the hospital wearing a bio-hazard suit on August 2nd.
In a separate statement, Christian mission group SIM USA said Ms Writebol was released from the hospital on Tuesday and was resting in an undisclosed location with her husband.
“Nancy is free of the virus, but the lingering effects of the battle have left her in a significantly weakened condition,” her husband, David Writebol, said in a statement. “We decided it would be best to leave the hospital privately to be able to give her the rest and recuperation she needs at this time.”
Dr Ribner, who cared for the patients, said they were released in consultation with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “To the extent that we’ve tested, there is no evidence of Ebola virus in their bodies,” Ribner said.
Asked whether the experimental drugs used on the patients helped improve their survival, he said, “The honest answer is we have no idea.” said what did know going into the treatment, however, was that the “key to surviving Ebola is aggressive supportive care,” which is something Emory medical workers knew they could deliver to the patients more effectively Africa.
The organisation said in a statement: “ZMapp is one of several experimental treatments and vaccines for Ebola that are currently undergoing investigation. At present, supplies of all are extremely limited.”– (Reuters)