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Harpa Timsah

Two U.S. Ebola Patients Are Released by Atlanta Hospital

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Initially I really thought they were bringing them home to die near their families. Amazing.



ATLANTA — The two American aid workers who were the first patients ever to be treated for the Ebola virus at a hospital in the United States have been released, capping a transcontinental medical drama that stirred public debate about whether any American with the virus should have been allowed to return.

Emory University Hospital, which admitted Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol to a specialized isolation ward earlier this month, said both were discharged after at least two weeks of treatment. Dr. Brantly was released on Thursday, the hospital said, after Ms. Writebol was quietly discharged on Tuesday.

“I am forever thankful to God for sparing my life, and I’m glad for any attention my sickness has attracted to the plight of West Africa in the midst of this epidemic,” Dr. Brantly, who arrived at Emory on Aug. 2 after being evacuated from Liberia, said at a news conference here on Thursday morning, his wife at his side.

Ms. Writebol, who is from North Carolina, did not appear before reporters on the Emory campus, which is near the headquarters of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She arrived in the United States three days after Dr. Brantly after she was flown, as he was, aboard a private air ambulance to a military base northwest of Atlanta. Dr. Brantly had been working with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian aid organization, in Africa, where an Ebola outbreak has claimed more than 1,200 lives. Ms. Writebol worked for SIM USA, also a Christian aid group.

“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 written statement. “Thus, 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.”

Emory on Thursday defended its decision to admit Dr. Brantly and Ms. Writebol, saying that doctors had learned information that would “advance the world’s understanding” of the virus while providing lifesaving aid.

“It was the right decision to bring these patients back to Emory for treatment,” Dr. Bruce S. Ribner, the infectious disease specialist who oversaw the pair’s care at Emory.

He added, “We always suspected that we had a good chance of helping these patients survive.”

The admissions of Dr. Brantly and Ms. Writebol had drawn pointed questions, many of them online, focused on whether they would spread the infection in the United States. But doctors and public health officials repeatedly said there was no risk to the public, especially with the availability of an isolation unit.

AOS for my husband
8/17/10: INTERVIEW DAY (day 123) APPROVED!!

5/23/12: Sent out package
2/06/13: APPROVED!

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So red aids ribbon, pink breast cancer ribbon, red and black for atheist solidarity. What color ribbon for Ebola?


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The media reports in the Atlanta area when they arrived and were admitted seemed to indicate that the US medical team at Emory and CDC felt these two patients had good chances for survival now that they were back in the US. They were at much greater risk of succumbing to the illness if they remained in Africa, which was one of the key motivators in bringing them back to the US for treatment. I am really glad to see that the hopefully anticipated outcome was indeed the actual outcome.

“...Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?”

. Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


Another Member of the VJ Fluffy Kitty Posse!

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Five people received the new experimental drug (there were only five samples in existence) - Looks like four of them will survive which is very good for a disease that averages a 90% mortality rate. Hopefully that pans out and they can get it into volume production...

I don't believe it.. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it. -Ford Prefect

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