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Dr. Kent Brantly, one of the US aid workers who recovered from an Ebola infection, is “thrilled to be alive” as he is discharged from hospital.
Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, thanked supporters for their prayers at a news conference in Atlanta.
Nurse Nancy Writebol, 59, was discharged on August 19.
The two were brought to the US for treatment three weeks ago.
The outbreak has killed more than 1,300 people in West Africa, with many of the deaths occurring in Liberia.
“Today is a miraculous day,” said Dr. Kent Brantly, who appeared healthy if pallid as he addressed reporters on Thursday at Emory University hospital.
“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.”
Dr. Kent Brantly contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia, where he and his family moved in October 2013 (photo AP)
Dr. Kent Brantly said Ebola “was not on the radar” when he and his family moved to Liberia in October.
After his family returned to the US as the Ebola outbreak tore through West Africa, Kent Brantly continued to treat Ebola patients and woke up on July 23 feeling “under the weather”.
Dr. Kent Brantly said he lay in bed for nine days, getting progressively sicker and weaker.
On August 1, he was flown to Atlanta for treatment at Emory unit.
Emory infectious disease specialist Dr. Bruce Ribner said after rigorous treatment and testing officials were confident Dr. Kent Brantly had recovered “and he can return to his family, his community and his life without public health concerns”.
The group for which Dr. Kent Brantly was working in Liberia, Samaritan’s Purse, said they were celebrating his recovery.
“Today I join all of our Samaritan’s Purse team around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr. Kent Brantly’s recovery from Ebola and release from the hospital,” Franklin Graham said in a statement.
Nancy Writebol’s husband David said in a statement that she was free of the virus but was significantly weakened.
Her family decided to leave the hospital privately in order to allow her to rest and recuperate.
Meanwhile, South Africa on Thursday said non-citizens arriving from Ebola-affected areas of West Africa – the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – would not be allowed into the country.
There is no cure for Ebola, one of the deadliest diseases known to humans, with a fatality rate in this outbreak of 50-60%.
But both Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol received an experimental treatment known as ZMapp.
The drug, which has only been made in extremely limited quantities, had never been tested on humans and it remains unclear if it is responsible for their recovery.
ZMapp was also given to a Spanish priest, who died, and three Liberian health workers, who are showing signs of improvement.
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The Ebola infected US aid workers, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nurse Nancy Writebol, appear to be improving after receiving an experimental drug, officials have said.
It is not clear if the ZMapp drug, which has only been tested on monkeys, can be credited with their improvement.
Dr. Kent Brantly was flown from Liberia to Atlanta for treatment on Saturday. His colleague Nancy Writebol arrived back in the city of Atlanta on Tuesday.
Since February, 887 people have died of Ebola in four West African countries.
The World Bank is allocating $200 million in emergency assistance for countries battling to contain the Ebola outbreak.
Dr. Kent Brantly and Nurse Nancy Writebol’s condition appear to be improving after receiving Ebola experimental serum ZMapp
It is the world’s deadliest outbreak to date and has centered on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There have also been two cases in the Nigerian city of Lagos, where eight people are currently in quarantine.
British Airways has temporarily suspended flights to and from Liberia and Sierra Leone until August 31, 2014, because of the health crisis, the airline said in a statement. It follows a similar suspension by two regional air carriers last week.
The Ebola virus spreads by contact with infected blood and bodily fluids. The current outbreak is killing between 50% and 60% of people infected.
There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola – but patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says clinical trials are to start in September on an Ebola vaccine that has shown promising results during tests on animals.
Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were treated with the ZMapp serum before their evacuation from Liberia.
According to a CNN report, quoting a doctor in Liberia, Dr. Kent Brantly’s condition improved dramatically within an hour of receiving the drug.
Service in Mission (SIM), the Christian aid group that employs Nancy Writebol, says she has had two doses of the drug and did not respond as well as Dr. Kent Brantly but she is showing “improvement”.
“She is walking with assistance… strength is better… has an appetite,” SIM spokesman Palmer Holt told the Washington Post newspaper in an email on Monday.
Nancy Writebol is on her way to a special isolation ward at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, where Dr. Kent Brantly is being treated by infectious disease specialists.
Dr. Kent Brantly, who was infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, has arrived in the US for treatment at a specialized unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
The US doctor arrived in a specially equipped private plane at a military base before being whisked away to Emory University Hospital.
Fellow infected US aid worker Nancy Writebol is expected to follow shortly.
Ebola has claimed 728 lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone this year, killing up to 90% of sufferers.
The virus spreads through human contact with a sufferer’s bodily fluids.
Initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external hemorrhaging from areas like eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure.
Ebola infected Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol will be treated at a specialized unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta
The US health authorities have warned against travelling to the African states affected and 50 extra American specialists are being sent to affected areas.
The plane carrying Dr. Kent Brantly was outfitted with a special portable tent designed for transporting patients with highly infectious diseases.
After it touched down at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, the patient was collected by an ambulance which drove him to Emory, 15 miles away.
At the hospital a person in protective clothing could be seen climbing down from the back of the ambulance and a second person in protective clothing appeared to take his gloved hands and guide him toward a building, the Associated Press report.
US officials say they are confident the patients can be treated without putting the public in any danger.
The specialized unit at Emory University Hospital was opened 12 years ago to care for federal health workers exposed to some of the world’s most dangerous germs.
While it has an isolation unit, health experts say it is not needed for treating a patient with Ebola, as the virus does not spread through the air.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is unaware of any Ebola patient ever being treated in the US before.
Dr. Kent Brantly’s employer, the aid group Samaritan’s Purse, said in a statement that it was evacuating 60 non-essential staff who were healthy back to the US.
An earlier statement said that Dr. Kent Brantly had been offered experimental serum – using blood from a child whose life he saved – but he had insisted that Nancy Writebol should receive it instead.
Dr. Kent Brantly’s wife, Amber, said in a statement she remained “hopeful and believing that Kent” would be “healed from this dreadful disease”.
The National Institutes of Health in the US has said it will begin testing a possible Ebola vaccine in September.
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Emory University Hospital in Atlanta is preparing to receive a US aid worker infected with the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.
The unnamed patient will be flown to the US in the next few days for treatment at a high-security ward at Emory University Hospital, medics said.
The worst Ebola outbreak in history has swept through the region, killing 729 people.
A spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said her agency was working on the transfer with the US State Department.
Barbara Reynolds said she was not aware of any Ebola patient ever being treated in the US before.
The worst Ebola outbreak in history has swept through West Africa, killing 729 people
In a statement, the Atlanta hospital said it has an isolation unit which is specially equipped to deal with this kind of infection.
On Friday, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) and leaders of West African nations affected by the Ebola outbreak are expected to announce a joint $100 million response plan.
Sierra Leone’s president has declared a public health emergency over the outbreak after 233 people died there.
Ebola spreads through human contact with a sufferer’s bodily fluids.
Initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external hemorrhaging from areas like eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure. It kills up to 90% of those infected.
The US health authorities have warned against travelling to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as they strive to tackle the Ebola outbreak, and 50 extra American specialists are being sent to affected areas.
American Dr. Kent Brantly with Ebola in Liberia has taken a “slight turn for the worse”, the Samaritan’s Purse aid agency said on Thursday.
Kent Brantly and another American worker, Nancy Writebol, “are in a stable but grave condition”, the agency said in a statement.
The statement said that Dr. Kent Brantly had been offered experimental serum – using blood from a child whose life he saved – but he had insisted that Nancy Writebol should receive it instead.
Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health in the US has said it will begin testing a possible vaccine in September.
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US doctor Kent Brantly, who has been working with Ebola patients in Liberia, has tested positive for the deadly virus, an aid organization said Saturday.
North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse issued a news release saying that Dr. Kent Brantly tested positive for the Ebola disease and was being treated at a hospital in Monrovia, Liberia.
He is the medical director for the aid organization’s case management center in Monrovia.
Dr. Kent Brantly has been working with Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia since October 2013 (photo Samaritan’s Purse)
Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, has been working with Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia since October 2013 as part of the charity’s post-residency program for doctors, said the group’s spokeswoman Melissa Strickland. The organization’s website says he had worked as a family practice physician in Fort Worth, Texas.
The highly contagious virus is one of the most deadly diseases in the world. Photos of Dr. Kent Brantly working in Liberia show him in white coveralls made of a synthetic material that he wore for hours a day while treating Ebola patients.
Kent Brantly was quoted in a posting on the organization’s website earlier this year about efforts to maintain an isolation ward for patients.
Strickland says that Kent Brantly’s wife and children had been living with him in Africa, but they are currently in the US.
Ebola virus has killed 672 in several African countries since the outbreak began earlier this year.
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