Missionary Doctor 'Thrilled to be Alive' After Recovering From Ebola

By  | 

ATLANTA (AP) - A missionary doctor who's been released from the hospital after recovering from Ebola says he's "thrilled to be alive."

Kent Brantly choked up as he spoke at a news conference at Emory University Hospital, calling it "a miraculous day."

Brantly is one of two American aid workers who were treated at the Atlanta hospital after being infected with the potentially deadly virus in Africa. The other, Nancy Writebol, quietly left the hospital on Tuesday to continue recuperating in an undisclosed location.

Both were given the experimental drug ZMapp, but doctors don't know if the drug helped or whether Brantly and Writebol improved on their own.

After Brantly spoke, he hugged and shook hands with hospital staff members lined up behind him. 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.

Doctors say releasing the two patients poses no risk to the public. They say neither patient's blood shows evidence of Ebola, and patients are not contagious once they've recovered.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick people.