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American doctor treated for Ebola released from hospital after taking experimental drug

Published on Aug 21, 2014 7:07 PM
 
This undated handout photo obtained on July 30, 2014, courtesy of Samaritan's Purse shows Dr Kent Brantly near Monrovia, Liberia. The American doctor, who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia, has been released from a United States hospital after receiving treatment with an experimental drug, his charity said on Thursday. -- PHOTO: AFP

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has been released from a United States hospital after receiving treatment with an experimental drug, his charity said on Thursday.

Dr Kent Brantly was given ZMapp, a drug used on a handful of patients in the West African outbreak and produced by United States-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical.

Atlanta, Georgia’s Emory University Hospital said it would hold a news conference to discuss Brantly’s case and that of a second American, Nancy Writebol, being treated there with ZMapp.

Mapp says its supplies of the drug have been exhausted.

Dr Brantly will leave Emory hospital after the news conference, a spokesperson for the charity Samaritan’s Purse said. “I have marveled at Dr. Brantly’s courageous spirit as he has fought this horrible virus with the help of the highly competent and caring staff at Emory University Hospital,” Samaritan’s Purse president Franklin Graham said in a statement.

The World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that 2,473 people have been infected and 1,350 have died since the Ebola outbreak was identified in remote south-eastern Guinea in March.

It said that no cases of the disease had been confirmed outside of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria – the countries affected by the outbreak – despite cases having been suspected elsewhere.

A senior health official in Togo said on Thursday that two suspected cases, including a sailor from the Philippines, were being tested for the virus.

Three African doctors, also treated with ZMapp in Liberia, have shown remakable signs of improvement, Liberia’s Information Minister Lewis Brown told Reuters on Tuesday.

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