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Ebola Patient’s Husband Out of Quarantine Visits Wife

Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) -- An American aid worker being treated for Ebola in Atlanta was reunited with her husband after he completed a 21-day precautionary monitoring period to make sure he wasn’t infected.

Both Nancy Writebol and Kent Brantly, a doctor, are recovering in isolation units at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after contracting Ebola while working in Liberia. Brantly said on Aug. 15 statement that he felt better and was looking forward to being released. Nancy Writebol is also getting stronger, according to David Writebol, who underwent a quarantine period before seeing his wife.

“I have had the great joy to be able to look through the isolation room glass and see my beautiful wife again,” David Writebol said in a statement today. She is “eager for the day when the barriers separating us are set aside, and we can simply hold each other.”

Both Nancy Writebol and Brantly were treated with an experimental drug developed by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. Brantly also received blood serum from a 14-year-old survivor of the deadly disease. Though both are improving, it’s unknown if or how much the treatments helped.

There is no known or approved cure for Ebola. Normal therapy involves keeping patients hydrated, replacing lost blood and using antibiotics to fight infections. The hope is that a patient’s immune system will eventually fight off the virus’s aggressive attack.

Neither Nancy Writebol nor Brantly have a release date from the hospital yet, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Hurdles Left

“I am recovering in every way,” Brantly said in his Aug. 15 statement. “There are still a few hurdles to clear before I can be discharged, but I hold on to the hope of a sweet reunion with my wife, children and family in the near future.”

The Ebola virus continues to claim victims in Africa. Between Aug. 12 and 13, a total of 152 new cases of the disease were reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization. The virus has sickened 2,127 people thus far and killed 1,145.

Ebola has historically killed as many as 90 percent of those who contract it. The current outbreak has claimed the lives of 54 percent of its known victims.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cynthia Koons in New York at ckoons@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net Drew Armstrong

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