Missionary doctor ‘thrilled to be alive’ after recovering from Ebola

ATLANTA (AP) — A missionary doctor who’s been released from the hospital after recovering from Ebola says he’s “thrilled to be alive.”

Kent Brantly choked up as he spoke at a news conference today at Emory University Hospital, calling it “a miraculous day.”

Brantly is one of two American aid workers who were treated at the Atlanta hospital after being infected with the potentially deadly virus in Africa. The other, Nancy Writebol, quietly left the hospital on Tuesday to continue recuperating in an undisclosed location.

Both were given the experimental drug ZMapp, but doctors don’t know if the drug helped or whether Brantly and Writebol improved on their own.

After Brantly spoke, he hugged and shook hands with hospital staff members lined up behind him. For some, it was the first direct contact they had with their patient. In the isolation unit, Brantly was behind glass and many people treating him wore protective gear.

Doctors say releasing the two patients poses no risk to the public. They say neither patient’s blood shows evidence of Ebola, and patients are not contagious once they’ve recovered.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick people.

%@AP Links

169-w-34-(Ed Donahue, AP correspondent, with Dr, Kent Brantley)–The Two Americans infected with Ebola who were treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta have been released. The AP’s Ed Donahue reports. (21 Aug 2014)

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168-a-10-(Dr. Bruce Ribner, medical director, infectious disease unit , Emory University Hospital, at news conference)-“all of us”-Dr. Bruce Ribner of Emory University Hospital says the hospital staff is very proud and admires both Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol. (21 Aug 2014)

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166-a-14-(Dr. Bruce Ribner, medical director, infectious disease unit , Emory University Hospital, at news conference)-“public health concerns”-Dr. Bruce Ribner of Emory University Hospital says Kent Brantly is healthy and is no longer at risk of spreading the Ebola virus. (21 Aug 2014)

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165-a-12-(Dr. Kent Brantly, former Ebola patient who’s been released from the hospital, at news conference)-“and my family”-Dr. Kent Brantly thanks everyone who helped him at Emory University Hospital. Updated: 08/21/2014-11:44:01 AM ET (21 Aug 2014)

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APPHOTO GAJB104: Ebola victim Dr. Kent Brantly, right, hugs a member of the medical staff that treated him, after being released from Emory University Hospital Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Atlanta. Another American aid worker, Nancy Writebol, who was also infected with the Ebola virus, was released from the hospital Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (21 Aug 2014)

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APPHOTO NY108: FILE – In this Oct. 7, 2013, file photo, provided by Jeremy Writebol, his mother, Nancy Writebol, poses with children in Liberia. Nancy Writebol is one of two Americans working for a missionary group in Liberia who were infected with the Ebola virus, and who have been receiving treatment at Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta. Emory planned to hold a news conference Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, to discuss both patients’ discharge. (AP Photo/Courtesy Jeremy Writebol) (4 Aug 2014)

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