Two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus have been discharged from an Atlanta hospital.
Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were infected while working at a missionary clinic in the West African nation of Liberia. They were given the experimental drug Zmapp and flown back to the United States for treatment three weeks ago. Brantly was released Thursday, and Writebol quietly walked out of the hospital's isolation unit two days earlier.
"Today is a miraculous day," Brantly said. He walked in to a news conference holding hands with his wife, and a line of workers from Emory University Hospital paraded in and stood behind him.
"I am thrilled to be alive, to be well, and to be reunited with my family," he said, choking up several times as he read a written statement. He and his wife then hugged and shook hands with each staff member. 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.
Brantly and Writebol arrived in Georgia three days apart in a markedly different scene. Each was flown in a specially equipped jet, then driven in police-escorted ambulances. They entered the hospital — Brantly walking, but Writebol wheeled on a stretcher — through a back door as news helicopters hovered above. Wearing bulky medical suits, they were taken quickly to the isolation unit.