American Ebola patient to be released after clean blood tests

News

Dr. Kent Brantly was serving as medical director for the Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia when he tested positive for Ebola.

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(CNN) — Dr. Kent Brantly, who contracted the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa while helping fight its largest outbreak in recorded history, will be released from Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital on Thursday, spokesman Vince Dollard said.

His blood tests have come back negative for the virus.

The hospital will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. ET, where Brantly will give a statement before leaving the hospital.

Emory will also have information on fellow missionary Nancy Writebol. Her husband recently said that she is regaining strength.

Both of them were evacuated from Liberia earlier this month in a plane specially equipped with an isolation tent and accompanied by medical staff outfitted in head-to-foot protective clothing.

The plane was able to take only one patient at a time and made two trips to get them both.

The two Americans were taken to an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital, where Writebol was also treated.

Both patients were able to walk when they arrived, stepping out of the ambulance on foot, dressed in biohazard suits.

Joy and relief

Brantly was in Liberia for faith-based charity Samaritan’s Purse, and its president, Franklin Graham expressed joy over the doctor’s release.

“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,” he said.

Writebol’s husband David, who was with her in Africa, visited her at Emory on Sunday, he said in a statement. She is recovering, he said.

He stood outside the isolation room, as they looked at each other through the glass.

“We both placed our hands on opposite sides of the glass, moved with tears to look at each other again,” he said.

Experimental medication

For Brantly to leave isolation, two blood tests done in a two-day period had to come back negative.

The Ebola virus spreads via direct contact with bodily fluids, like blood, sweat and feces. Brantly’s will no longer be infectious.

There is a slight possibility that the virus could linger for up to three months in his semen, according to the World Health Organization.

The virus has no known cure, and left untreated, infections can be deadly in up to 90% of cases. Nearly half the patients receiving medical care in the current outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Guinea are surviving.

Treatment consists of giving fluids, monitoring vital signs and responding to acute medical crises. Symptoms include fever, aches, diarrhea and bleeding.

Brantly and Writebol also received an experimental drug called ZMapp, which was also given to three healthcare workers in Liberia, who appear to be recovering.

Fears of U.S. outbreak

Brantly and Writebol were the first known people infected with Ebola to enter the United States.

Their arrival triggered a surge of angst on social media from people afraid the patients could spread the virus.

But experts have said that additional infected people could cross U.S. borders by happenstance, given the proliferation of international air travel and the enormity of the current outbreak.

But they have dismissed the notion that infection could spread significantly in the country, thus turning into an outbreak.

Record outbreak

More than 1,350 people have died in the West African Ebola outbreak since the first cases drew attention in March, the WHO said on Wednesday.

Aid workers are fighting an uphill battle to stop the disease, as it continues to spread. Financial and human resources have been stretched.

An emergency research “all call” was issued Thursday by medical charity Wellcome Trust and United Kingdom’s Department for International Development to find a drug to stop the outbreak.

They are making $10.8 million available to fund research. Wellcome Trust is committing another $66.5 million to the development of health research scientists in Africa, who are studying many deadly diseases there.

Canada’s public health agency had 800 to 1,000 doses of a vaccine known as VSV-EBOV delivered to health officials in Liberia last week.

Mapp Biopharmaceuticals, which produces ZMapp, said it has sent its entire stock of the experimental drug overseas to fight the outbreak.

CNN’s Trisha Henry, Greg Botelho and Chelsea Carter contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News