News National/International

At Least One American Ebola Patient Will Leave Atlanta Hospital, Group Says


At least one of the two U.S. patients being treated for Ebola may soon be discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

They are the first patients treated for Ebola on American soil.

Indianapolis native Dr. Kent Brantly will be released today, a spokeswoman for the Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse tells The Associated Press. The Emory hospital says Brantly will appear at a news conference this morning, where officials will discuss both patients' release.

Brantly, 33, and another aid worker, Nancy Writebol, 59, were flown back to the U.S. after contracting the deadly virus in Liberia.

They have been treated in a special isolation unit at the hospital in Atlanta, which is also the home of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the pair to be released, the medical team treating them would need to have seen two clean blood tests in two days for each of them, according to CNN.  In the past two weeks, their health had reportedly been improving.

Brantly, who lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and Writebol, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., had been working with Samaritan's Purse, based in Boone, N.C., to treat patients with Ebola when they realized they had the virus late in July.

The Ebola outbreak has caused more than 1,350 deaths in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization.

But the organization also warns that its tally might "vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak."  Experts tell NPR that the WHO number could be higher by at least 20 percent.

UPDATE - (AP)  A doctor at the hospital that treated two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa says their discharge poses no public health risk.
Officials announced the release of Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol on Thursday. Brantly left Emory University Hospital on Thursday. Writebol left Tuesday. Family and officials say they're free of the virus. Writebol's husband says she left privately in a weakened condition to recuperate at an undisclosed location.  They were at the hospital nearly three weeks.
Dr. Bruce Ribner, medical director of the infectious disease unit at the hospital, said at a news conference that their release did not pose a public health risk.
At the news conference, Brantly said it is "a miraculous day.''
Meanwhile, officials from the World Health Organization are visiting treatment centers in Monrovia struggling to keep up with the influx of Ebola patients. Ebola has killed more than 1,300 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. It is spreading fastest in Liberia.