UPDATE: Doc who beat Ebola: ‘God saved my life’ - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Doc who beat Ebola: ‘God saved my life’

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Dr. Kent Brantly Dr. Kent Brantly
(NBC News) - Two Americans who contracted the Ebola virus while working in West Africa have been released from an Atlanta hospital. Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, worked with Christian aid organization Samaritan's Purse in Liberia treating patients with the deadly virus when he got sick.

"Today is a miraculous day. I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family," Brantly told a news conference.

Nancy Writebol, 59, an aid worker who also contracted Ebola while doing missionary aid work in Liberia, was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday, according to Emory and the aid group SIM. She is spending private time with her husband. "As she walked out of her isolation room, all she could say was 'To God be the glory,'" Brantly said.

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Brantly, who clutched the hand of his wife, Amber, before speaking, said he would be spending a month in private with his family before sharing any more of his story. "But for now we need some time together after a month apart," he said.

"Please do not stop praying for the people of Liberia and West Africa and for an end to this Ebola epidemic," Brantly pleaded in a brief statement. He hugged his doctors and nurses as he left, and officials at Emory and the CDC emphasized that the patients posed no risk to public health.

“After a rigorous course of treatment and testing, 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,” Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of Emory's Infectious Disease Unit, said at the news conference.

Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse, said Thursday that he had "marveled at Dr. Brantly's courageous spirit as he has fought this horrible virus" and thanked staff at the hospital. On Friday, Brantly released a statement asking that people "continue to pray for and bring attention to those suffering in the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa." More than 1,300 people have died from the disease in the region, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the Ebola epidemic a global health emergency.

Both Americans received experimental treatment before being flown to an isolation unit in Emory University Hospital in Atlanta in early August.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no concern for anyone with the release of the two patients. "They no longer have Ebola virus in their blood and therefore pose no risk to household contacts or the public. There are no restrictions to the patients' activities of daily living," CDC said in a statement.

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