The Atlanta hospital where two American aid workers were brought after getting infected with the Ebola virus in Liberia have scheduled a news conference for Thursday morning to discuss their discharge, while an aid group said one of them has recovered.
A news release from Emory University Hospital according to CBS News did not say when the two would be discharged or if it had already happened. A spokeswoman said more details would be given at the Thursday morning news conference.
Meanwhile, Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, who one of the aid workers had been working for, said in a statement that Dr. Kent Brantly has recovered.
“Today I join all of our Samaritan’s Purse team around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr. Kent Brantly’s recovery from Ebola and release from the hospital,” Graham’s statement said.
“I know that Dr. Brantly and his wonderful family would ask that you please remember and pray for those in Africa battling, treating and suffering from Ebola. Those who have given up the comforts of home to serve the suffering and the less fortunate are in many ways just beginning this battle,” the statement continued.
“We have more than 350 staff in Liberia, and others will soon be joining them, so please pray for those who have served with Dr. Brantly – along with the other doctors, aid workers and organizations that are at this very moment desperately trying to stop Ebola from taking any more lives.”
Brantly and Nancy Writebol were flown out of the West African nation of Liberia earlier this month and have been getting treatment for the deadly disease in an isolation unit at the hospital. The two were infected while working at a missionary clinic outside Liberia’s capital.
The Ebola outbreak has killed 1,350 people and counting across West Africa.
Ebola is only spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick people experiencing symptoms.
About 160 health care workers have been infected, including Brantly and Writebol, who were wearing protective gear to prevent infection.
That’s been a big concern in the medical community, but CBS News correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook reports one possibility being strongly considered is that the two Americans were actually infected outside the Ebola ward, at dinner or some other setting where they would not have been expected to be wearing the protective equipment.
Writebol and Brantley apparently came in contact with a Liberian health care worker who was sick. He had at least a fever and several days later he died from Ebola.
Now, if it turns out that’s how the two Americans got Ebola, it would actually be kind of reassuring because then you wouldn’t have to invoke a problem with the protective equipment as the reason for them getting infected, LaPook says.