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The announcement was made by Franklin Graham, the president of Samaritan’s Purse, the missionary organization who sent Dr. Brantly to West Africa prior to his contacting the Ebola virus helping Ebola patients in Liberia. Writebol was a part of the SIM staff, also a missionary organization.
With South Africa in the midst of the worst Ebola outbreak in history Graham said that Samaritan’s Purse has 350.workers still there and more are on their way to the stricken area.
“Those who have given up the comforts of home to serve the suffering and less fortunate are in many ways just beginning this battle,” Graham said.
Dr. Brantly appeared at an Emory University news conference at 11 a.m. today rejoiced at his recovery and recounted his descent into the disease and his miraculous recovery. He said he was thrilled to be alive. Dr. Brantly said he intended to spend time with his family. He did not say whether or not he would return to West Africa but asked those in leadership and influential positions to help continue the battle against Ebola.
Graham urged prayer for those who have served with Dr. Brantly and doctors, aid workers and organizations who are “desperately trying to stop Ebola from taking any more lives.”
Dr. Brantly contacted Ebola in Liberia and just before returning home was administered a dose of the experimental Ebola fighting serum ZMapp. Writebol received several doses of the serum before returning to the U.S..
Another dose of the serum was reported given to a 75-year-old Spanish Priest who died of the virus last week.
Currently there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the U.S., but two have been tested for the disease, one a 30-year-old teacher hospitalized at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. According to the New Mexico Department of Health the teacher had recently returned from Sierra Leone. The state Health Department today received word from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) that lab test results show that she does not have the Ebola virus.
Another patient in Sacramento, Calif., is in the process of being tested.
Health authorities in Monrovia Wednesday announced that 12 patients were released as virus free from the treatment center where Brantly and Writebold worked.