Dr. Kent Brantly was released today from Emory Hospital in Atlanta, where he has been recovering for the past three weeks from the deadlly Ebola virus. Dr. Brantly is one of two Americans who contracted the virus while caring for infected patients at a missionary clinic outside of Liberia’s capital, Monrovia.
“Today is a miraculous day,’’ said Dr. Brantly. “I’m thrilled to be alive, to be well, and to be reunited with my family.’’
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement just before the press conference around Dr. Brantly’s release from the hospital, emphasizing that the patient has fully recovered from the Ebola virus, and the release of the patient holds no threat to the public.
Nancy Writebol, the second American who contracted the virus while caring for patients, was released from Emory Hospital on Tuesday, said Dr. Bruce Ribner, an infectious disease specialist at Emory Hospital who lead Dr. Brantly and Mrs. Writebol’s care and recovery. He said at Emory Hospital on Thursday morning’s press conference that Mrs. Writebol has requested privacy during her recovery, which is why they didn’t announce the release.
“We have determined in conjunction with the CDC and state health departments that Dr Brantly has recovered from the Ebola virus infection and can return to his community and to his life without public health concerns to the general public and poses no public health threat,’’ said Dr. Ribner.
Dr. Ribner said that both patients have an absence of the virus in the blood and have not shown any symptoms for three days. He also said that both patients are now immune to the Ebola virus, and there is no evidence that once the patient has cleared the virus from their blood that they will relapse.
“Limited knowlecge of the ebola virus especially in our country has created understandable anxiety for various persons,’’ said Dr. Ribner. “We understand there are a lot of questions and concerns about the Ebola virus, but we cannot let our fears dictate our actions, we must all care. We are very mindful of all of those in West Africa who are still fighting for their lives against this threat. It was the right decision to bring these patients back to Emory for treatment.’’
“We are tremendously pleased with Dr. Brantly and Mrs. Writebol’s recovery, and we are pleased we could provide the proper training to care for their needs,’’ said Dr. Ribner. “Their hope and faith have been an inspiration to all of us.’’
Dr. Brantly, a medical missionary who said today he began to feel sick on July 23, thanked the staff at Emory Hospital and Samaritan’s Purse for caring for him during “The most difficult experience of my life.’’ He also asked people to pray for those still recovering in West Africa.
“Do not stop praying for the people of West Africa and a quick end to the Ebola epidemic,’’ said Dr. Brantly.