Twitter has a few questions about the two American Ebola patients miraculously cured of the virus in less than a month’s time. Earlier today (Aug. 21) we learned that Dr. Kent Brantly and American missionary Nancy Writebol were both released from an Atlanta hospital, and are officially Ebola free.
That news alone sounded pretty heartwarming, until the world actually saw Brantly. He looked as if he wasn’t fighting for his life just weeks ago. Not only did he seem pretty strong and steady, it does’t appear that he lost any weight based on his previous photos (maybe he did, but we just didn’t see it). Brantly spoke eloquently about his second chance at life. “I’m thrilled to be alive, to be well, and to reunite with my family,” he said at the press conference.
Brantly didn’t take any questions, but he did ask the public not to “stop praying for the people of Liberia and West Africa,” as the outbreak continues to claim lives. More than 2,000 people have died from Ebola since February.
It took “a rigorous course of treatment and testing” to cure Brantly and Writebol. “The Emory Healthcare team has determined that both patients have recovered from the Ebola virus and can return to their families and community without concern for spreading this infection to others,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner.
“We understand that there are a lot of questions and concerns about the Ebola virus and the infection that is causes. However we cannot let our fears dictate our actions. We don’t think he’s contagious.”
After the news conference was over, everybody hugged like nothing ever happened. In all fairness, there are African patients who have been cured of Ebola, in less than a month. However, ZMapp, the experiment drug used to treat the two American patients was not used in Africa prior to Writebol and Brantly getting sick. That raised the questions as to why health officials didn’t send the doses to Liberia to potentially help curb the spread to neighboring countries, Guinea and Sierra Leonie.
ZMapp was sent to the West African country to treat doctors infected with Ebola last week.
There were earlier opportunities to use ZMapp as a way to treating Ebola. It was ultimately decided that the Liberian doctor who led the fight against the disease would not receive ZMapp, reportedly because of the risk factors. The American-made drug had never been used on humans before it was given to Brantly and Writebol.