Emory Hospital Set to Discharge American Doctor
According to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA, the two American aid workers who were infected with the Ebola virus have been recovering well. Hospital officials reported that doctor Kent Brantly, 33, is scheduled to be discharged today. The other aid worker, Nancy Writebol, 59, will supposedly be moved from the isolation unit, NBC News reported. The hospital will be holding a press conference at 11 a.m ET.
Brantly and Writebol, had tested positive for Ebola when they were working West Africa where the outbreak has already killed over 1,000 people. Brantly was working with the Christian aid organization, Samaritan's Purse and Writebol was doing missionary work with an aid group called SIM USA. They were both transported separately and brought back to the U.S. where the quality of medical care is higher. Upon arrival, the patients received care at the facility's specialized unit.
While in isolation, the doctors focused on keeping the two patients hydrated and stable. The Ebola virus does not respond to any of the antiviral treatments available. Brantly and Writebol also received the experimental drug known as Zmapp, manufactured by Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. Prior to being used during this outbreak, Zmapp was only tested in animal models. The results from these tests were promising. In this uncontrolled situation, however, the doctors stated that they could not definitely say that Zmapp helped cure the patients.
"If the question is, 'Did Zmapp do this?' The answer is that we just don't know," stated Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, reported by USA Today. "People who are in much less sophisticated medical care conditions in West Africa are recovering 50% of the time."
"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, president of Samaritan's Purse, told CBS News in a statement. "I know that Dr. Brantly and his wonderful family would ask that you please remember and pray for those in Africa battling, treating and suffering from Ebola. Those who have given up the comforts of home to serve the suffering and the less fortunate are in many ways just beginning this battle."
Bruce Ribner, the medical director of the hospital's Infectious Disease Unit, will be speaking at the press conference. Brantly is expected to make a statement but will not be taking any questions.