ATLANTA --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 today 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.
Husband: Ebola virus patient resting at undisclosed location
The husband of an American aid worker released after being treated at an Atlanta hospital for Ebola says she is resting and recuperating at an undisclosed location.
David Writebol says his wife, Nancy Writebol, decided it would be best to leave the hospital "privately." An Emory University doctor said during a news conference this morning that the 59-year-old left the hospital Tuesday after tests showed she was free of the deadly virus.
In a statement, David Writebol says his wife "was greatly encouraged knowing that there were so many people around the world lifting prayers to God for her return to health." He calls her recovery "powerful testimony to God's sustaining grace."
Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American aid worker treated at Emory, was released today. Brantly and Writebol contracted Ebola while working at a missionary clinic outside Liberia's capital.
Liberia distributes food in slum sealed to stop Ebola
Government officials have been handing out bags of rice and pouches of drinking water to residents of an impoverished slum in Liberia's capital where tens of thousands of people have been barricaded in an effort to stop the spread of Ebola.
International aid workers warn that more help is needed as the country battles not only the virulent disease but also hunger. Travel restrictions have blocked food from getting to parts of the seaside capital.
The atmosphere remains tense in the township of West Point, where hundreds of residents lined up to receive government provisions a day after authorities put up barbed wire barricades and enforced a blockade of the area. The quarantine has kept market traders from entering or leaving and prices for food and water have been skyrocketing.
Liberia is being hit especially hard by Ebola. The virus has killed 1,350 people in West Africa, and more than a third of those deaths have been in Liberia.