Two US patients suffering from Ebola Virus have been cured and were released from the hospital on Thursday.
Dr Kent Brantly and his colleague, US aid worker Mrs. Nancy Writebol contracted the deadly virus while working in Liberia. They were flown out of the country to receive the treatment at Emory Hospital, Atlanta.
“I am thrilled to be alive, to be well, and to be reunited with my family,” said Dr. Brantly.
Dr. Brantly and Nancy Writebol, 59, spent more than two weeks in a special isolation unit at the hospital. Mrs. Writebol was discharged and quietly left the hospital Tuesday.
“The patients, who contracted the disease while working at the same hospital in Liberia, no longer have symptoms and don’t have traces of the deadly virus in their blood,” said Bruce Ribner, the head of the isolation unit where they were treated.
He added, “recovered Ebola patients generally are not contagious, they don’t as a general rule relapse, and they don’t spread the virus to anyone else.”
These two Americans received an experimental drug, called ZMapp, which is made by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. and had never been tested in humans. Dr. Ribner said that they don’t know what was the effect of the drug on them.
“Frankly we do not know whether it helped them, whether it made no difference, or even theoretically if it delayed their recovery,” Dr. Ribner said.
“There is a crying need for research on these agents,” he said. “Three doctors in Liberia have been given the same drug, and all are responding,” said Director of Social Welfare John Sumo at the Ministry of Health.
The company ZMapp declined to comment on its use on the American and Liberian patients.