At least one of the two U.S. patients being treated for Ebola may soon be discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where they've been in an isolation ward since returning from Liberia early this month. They are the first patients treated for Ebola on American soil.
Dr. Kent Brantly will be released today, a spokeswoman for the Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse tells The Associated Press. The Emory hospital says Brantly will appear at a news conference this morning, where officials will discuss both patients' release.
Brantly, 33, and another aid worker, Nancy Writebol, 59, were flown back to the U.S. after contracting the deadly virus in Liberia. They have been treated in a special isolation unit at the hospital in Atlanta, which is also the home of the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For the pair to be released, the medical team treating them would need to have seen two clean blood tests in two days for each of them, according to CNN. In the past two weeks, their health had reportedly been improving.
Brantly, who lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and Writebol, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., had been working with Samaritan's Purse, based in Boone, N.C., to treat patients with Ebola when they realized they had the virus late in July.
The Ebola outbreak has caused more than 1,350 deaths in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization. But the organization also warns that its tally might "vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak." Experts tell NPR that the WHO number could be higher by at least 20 percent.