When Dr. Kent Brantly and another American healthcare worker, Nancy Writebol, contracted Ebola in Liberia and were evacuated to Emory University Hospital for treatment, Americans watched closely and celebrated their eventual release.
But when a third Ebola patient — a World Health Organisation doctor working in Sierra Leone — was brought to Emory for treatment on Sept. 9, we didn’t learn any details about the situation, and no subsequent updates were released. Many feared that no news meant bad news.
Finally, on Wednesday, the hospital provided a long-awaited update on the status of the third patient it took in, and on Sunday, Oct. 19, that patient was released.
On Wednesday, Emory noted that it was “bound by patient confidentiality” but that “given the current national news regarding the diagnosis of Ebola virus disease in healthcare workers,” the patient requested that the hospital release a statement on his or her behalf. The patient has been kept anonymous since the beginning, unlike a lot of other Ebola patients.
The patient’s long battle with Ebola, the statement revealed, had initially taken a turn for the worst. But though the patient was in critical condition soon after arriving at Emory, he or she eventually recovered fully — after more than a month of treatment.
“The patient was determined to be free of virus and to pose no public health threat,” the hospital noted in its statement on Monday.
Amber Joy Vinson, the second nurse who got Ebola from the Dallas patient, is the only Ebola patient currently being treated at Emory.
Here is the full statement from Emory:
A patient who was transported to Emory University Hospital on Sept. 9 with Ebola virus disease was discharged from the hospital on Oct. 19, 2014. In coordination with the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health, the patient was determined to be free of virus and to pose no public health threat. The patient has asked to remain anonymous and left the hospital for an undisclosed location. He will make a statement at a later date. The patient was treated in the Serious Communicable Disease Unit in Emory University Hospital. Two other patients who were treated for Ebola virus disease were discharged from the hospital on August 19 and August 21. A fourth patient, who arrived on Oct. 15, 2014, is still being treated for Ebola virus disease in Emory’s Serious Communicable Disease Unit.
And Wednesday’s statement from the patient, released by Emory:
Given the national focus on Ebola, particularly with the diagnosis in two healthcare workers, I want to share the news that I am recovering from this disease, and that I anticipate being discharged very soon, free from the Ebola virus and able to return safely to my family and to my community.
As a result of the virus, my condition worsened and I became critically ill soon after I arrived at Emory. Through rigorous medical treatment, skillful nursing, and the full support of a healthcare team, I am well on the way to a full recovery. I want the public to know that although Ebola is a serious, complex disease, it is possible to recover and return to a healthy life. I wish to retain my anonymity for now, but I anticipate sharing more information in future weeks as I complete my recovery.
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