News / Health

US Ebola Patients Released, Pose 'No Public Health Threat'

  • A man working for a humanitarian group throws small bags of water to the residents behind the fence as they wait for a second consignment of food from the Liberian Government, at the West Point area, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 22, 2014.
  • West Point residents stand behind a green string marking a holding area, as they wait for a second consignment of food from the Liberian Government, at the West Point area, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 22, 2014.
  • Liberian policemen (right) speak with residents of the West Point area to calm them down as they wait for a second consignment of food from the Liberian Government, at the West Point area, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 22, 2014.
  • Kevin Brantly, the American doctor who, along with a second American aid worker, contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia, has recovered and was discharged from Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • Kevin Brantly, who contracted the deadly virus Ebola, looks at his wife Amber during a press conference at Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • Kevin Brantly (left), who contracted the deadly Ebola virus, looks down as his wife Amber (center) hugs a member of Emory's medical staff during a press conference at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • Kevin Brantly, who contracted the deadly Ebola virus, hugs a member of Emory's medical staff during a press conference at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • Kevin Brantly (left), who contracted the deadly Ebola virus, thanks Bruce Ribner, medical director of Emory's Infectious Disease Unit during a press conference at Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 21, 2014.

US Ebola Patients Released From Hospital, 'Pose No Threat'

VOA News

U.S. aid workers Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have been discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after recovering from Ebola and testing clear of the virus, officials said on Thursday.

Writebol, 59, was released Tuesday, and her husband, David, said in a statement emailed by the aid group SIM that that she is free of the virus but is in a weakened condition. She is recuperating at an undisclosed location.

Writebol had asked that her discharge remain private.

FILE - A combination photo shows Dr. Kent Brantly, left, and Nancy Writebol. Brantly and Writebol had contracted Ebola virus while in West Africa, were flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Both recovered and were released this week.FILE - A combination photo shows Dr. Kent Brantly, left, and Nancy Writebol. Brantly and Writebol had contracted Ebola virus while in West Africa, were flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Both recovered and were released this week.
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FILE - A combination photo shows Dr. Kent Brantly, left, and Nancy Writebol. Brantly and Writebol had contracted Ebola virus while in West Africa, were flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Both recovered and were released this week.
FILE - A combination photo shows Dr. Kent Brantly, left, and Nancy Writebol. Brantly and Writebol had contracted Ebola virus while in West Africa, were flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Both recovered and were released this week.

Brantly, 33, who was flown to Atlanta on Aug. 2, said “today is a miraculous day” at a news conference as he was released from Emory on Thursday.

"I am forever thankful to God for sparing my life," he said.

No sign of virus

Dr. Bruce Ribner, medical director of Emory's Infectious Disease Unit, said both Brantly and Writebol were discharged after blood tests showed no evidence of the virus and eased symptoms.

The two aid workers were treated for nearly three weeks at the Atlanta hospital.

Ribner said they are both likely to make a complete recovery, adding, "The discharge from the hospital of both these patients poses no public health threat."

Ribner said the two were released in consultation with the U.S. 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.

He said the limited knowledge of the Ebola virus "especially in our country – has created understandable anxiety and fear for some persons."

"We understand there are a lot of questions and concerns regarding Ebola, but we cannot let our fears dictate our actions. We must all care," he said.

Experimental drug

Ribner said the two will have follow-up care, "much like anyone who has been in intensive care."

When asked how much the hospital spent on the care for Brantly and Writebol, he answered, "I have no clue."

The two were infected while working at a missionary clinic outside Liberia's capital. Emory Hospital is where Brantly and Writebol received treatment that included the experimental drug ZMapp.

Ribner had said that these two were the very first to receive the treatment and doctors do not know whether it helped them, it had no effect or "theoretically delayed their recovery."

Brantly, while in Liberia, also received a blood transfusion from a teenager who had survived Ebola.

When asked how this transfusion might have helped Brantly, Ribner said, "We have no idea how, if at all, that impacted his outcome."

Liberia has been hardest hit by the worst-ever outbreak of the disease.

The World Health Organization says 1,350 people have died in West Africa, with 576 of the deaths coming from Liberia.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

  • Liberian security forces hem in protesters after clashes at West Point neighborhood in Monrovia, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Members of Liberian security forces talk with a protester in the West Point neighborhood in Monrovia Aug. 20, 2014.
  • West Point residents flee during clashes with security forces. Monrovia, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Liberian security forces patrol a street after clashes at West Point neighborhood in Monrovia, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • A marketplace stands empty in the West Point quarantined neighborhood of Liberia's capital Monrovia, Aug. 20, 2014.

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Comments
     
by: Not Again from: Canada
August 21, 2014 11:44 AM
Fantastic news, that both have recovered!
Did they build up anti-bodies to the virus? will they have some immunity to the virus? Spinal fluid changed? all organs working well....... I hope both recovered patients/cases are studied in detail; they/such recovered patients may hold the key to defeating the Ebola virus.

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