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Health Experts Work To Unravel Myths, Fears Of Ebola

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DENVER (CBS4) – There’s been a remarkable recovery for two Ebola patients treated in the United States, one of which graduated from Evergreen High School. They both are out of the hospital after weeks of treatment.

Dr. Kent Brantly was discharged from Emory University Hospital after weeks in isolation. He’s reportedly healthy without showing any effects of Ebola.

Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol (credit: CBS)

Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol (credit: CBS)

“I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family,” Brantly said. “I cannot thank you enough for your prayers and support.”

Brantly and medical aid Nancy Writebol, who attended Evergreen High School, were infected in Liberia. They were treated with the experimental drug zmapp. It had been in development for years, but there are no stockpiles of the drug. CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida says the drug’s effectiveness may not have been what saved the doctors.

“It’s been used in three people — two of those people evidently have survived, but one has not. So, was it a cure? Is it a cure? We don’t know the answer to that. I think the better answer is the fact that the people who did improve got supportive care,” Hnida said.

Ebola spreads through bodily fluids, sometimes living with the carrier for weeks before that person become symptomatic. But it can be easily be prevented by basic sanitation measures. The hyperbolic suits seen in Africa are considered overkill by some medical workers. Still, Hnida says Ebola in the U.S. Is inevitable, but can be contained.

“I think you can confidently say that whatever the number is, it will be much less, and will be much less likely to be fatal than we’re seeing in Western Africa,” he said.

Health officials say it could take about 6 months or more before the African Ebola outbreak is under control. It’s the 37th outbreak since 1977.

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