Kent Brantly, American Ebola Patient, Treated With Experimental Serum; To Be Released From U.S. Hospital

| by Lisa Fogarty

An American doctor who was treated for the Ebola virus after returning to the United States from Liberia is set to be released from an American hospital today, reports NBC News.

Dr. Kent Brantly contracted the virus while working with Ebola-infected patients at the Christian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse. The 33-year-old was given an experimental medication before being flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where he spent about a month in isolation. He was also given blood from a 14-year-old boy who pulled through after being diagnosed with Ebola – thanks to the doctor’s care, reports Huffington Post.

Missionary Nancy Writebol, 59 also contracted Ebola in the West African nation and was transported to the same hospital. She is expected to be released shortly, though her discharge date is unclear.

Brantly will make a public statement at a news conference this morning. He has already issued a statement in which he asked people to “continue to pray for and bring attention to those suffering in the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa.”

Franklin Graham, the president of Samaritan’s Purse, said he “marveled at Dr. Brantly’s courageous spirit as he has fought this horrible virus.”

Brantly is the first Ebola patient ever to be treated in the United States, reports ABC News. His health had been compromised so badly by the virus that doctors felt they had no other choice than to give him the experimental serum called ZMapp while he was still in Nigeria. Doctors say his condition improved greatly just one hour after he was given the medication, though it's too soon to confirm his improvement was directly related to the serum.

The Ebola virus has claimed the lives of at least 1,229 people and made more than 1,000 people sick. The greatest number of these cases are reported in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Sources: Huffington Post, NBC News, ABC News

Photo Credit: NIAID/Flickr, Samaritan's Purse/ABC