WiLab Loves: U.S. Ebola Patients Safely Discharged And Reunited With Families Thanks To Healthcare Innovation

The Ebola outbreak stemming from West Africa has had the whole world nervous — understandably so, because the disease has a high mortality rate and, up until now, was considered to have no foreseeable cure.

“Today is a miraculous day. I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family.”

Today marks a a major stepping stone in the battle to find a cure for this threatening disease.  Two Americans who contracted the Ebola virus while working in West Africa have been released from an Atlanta hospital.

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Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, an American who contracted Ebola while working at a missionary hospital in Liberia, is being released today after receiving an experimental drug treatment for the disease. Nancy Writebol, 59, an aid worker who also contracted Ebola while doing missionary aid work in Liberia, was quitely discharged from the hospital on Tuesday and is now spending time with her husband.

The hospital now reports both Brantly and Writebol have recovered and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no concern for anyone with the release of the two patients. “They no longer have Ebola virus in their blood and therefore pose no risk to household contacts or the public. There are no restrictions to the patients’ activities of daily living,” CDC said in a statement.

Innovation Through Healthcare

You may be wondering, “how is this possible? I thought there was no cure for Ebola?” Through preventative measures and experimental drugs, Brantly and Writebol were able rid themselves of the disease before it was too late.

  • First, Brantly received an experimental serum before being transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. He was also given a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who survived Ebola under his care.
  • On Aug. 2, Brantly was airlifted inside an airtight plastic pod to Georgia military base and then by ground ambulance to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Dressed in a full protective suit, he surprised everyone by walking upright without a stretcher or wheelchair from the ambulance into the hospital where he remained in isolation, able to see his wife through a glass wall.Emory

  • At Emory, both Brantly and Writebol received doses of an experimental drug, called Zmapp, which includes man-made antibodies against Ebola developed in collaboration by U.S. and Canadian companies. Experts have said it’s not possible to conclude that Zmapp solely cured their disease, although getting good supportive care at Emory, one of the world’s best hospitals, likely improved their chances of survival.

  • Other potential Ebola drugs are under development by Sarepta, a Cambridge, Mass., biotech, and Tekmira, a Canadian company based in British Columbia. In results released Wednesday, Tekmira’s potential drug showed positive results versus a virus similar to Ebola in animal tests–an announcement that probably contributed to the company’s stock surge Thursday morning, despite the fact it wasn’t involved in Brantly’s landmark case. Tekmira’s drug candidate stands out for the effect its shown even as a delayed treatment, Bloomberg reports.

Women’s iLab is inspired by this innovation in healthcare and hopes this movement will help to bring health and safety to the thousands other victims suffering from this terrible disease.

Sources: BostInno,  Huffington Post NBC News

Originally posted 2014-08-21 12:49:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter