Ebola Virus: American Patient Hopes for Discharge Soon

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ATLANTA-One of two Americans being treated for Ebola at Emory University Hospital says he is recovering and hopes to be discharged soon, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Kent Brantly, a doctor who was infected while treating Ebola patients outside Monrovia, Liberia, said, in a statement Friday, he has made progress in his treatment in a special isolation unit Emory. "I am recovering in every way," he said.

"There are still a few hurdles to clear before I can be discharged, but I hold on to the hope of a sweet reunion with my wife, children and family in the near future," he said. He didn't elaborate on the hurdles.

"I am more grateful every day to the Lord for sparing my life and continuing to heal my body," he said.

Dr. Brantly, 33 years old, of Fort Worth, Texas, was working in Liberia for Samaritan's Purse, a faith-based charity that operates a hospital and campus there. He had been in Liberia since October 2013 as part of a post-residency program and began treating Ebola patients when the outbreak erupted. He developed symptoms of Ebola on July 23 and isolated himself.

The second American Ebola patient at Emory, Nancy Writebol, 59, is also improving, according to a statement from her husband provided through the faith-based charity the two work for, SIM USA. "Each time I talk to her, her voice is clearer and brighter," said David Writebol. "She is getting better and stronger. She is moving in the right direction, and from everything I hear, she's making good progress."

Ms. Writebol is believed to have become infected while working in the same Ebola treatment center where Dr. Brantly was treating patients. She was diagnosed shortly after Dr. Brantly. Mr. Writebol has also left Liberia and is under quarantine on SIM USA's campus in Charlotte, N.C.

While under treatment in Liberia, Dr. Brantly and Ms. Writebol received an experimental drug, called ZMapp, that is made by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. and had never been tested in humans. The two were evacuated to Atlanta earlier this month.

Ebola experts say that most deaths from the disease occur during the eighth to 10th day of illness. But full recovery can take several weeks and the virus can linger for a few weeks in reservoirs in the body.

"Please continue to pray for and bring attention to those suffering in the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa," Dr. Brantly said. "Their fight is far from over."

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