The Wonders of the Cured U.S. Ebola Patients

I should preface this post by saying that I am not a doctor, nor am I in medical school. I’m just a guy, albeit a guy who works for Cureus and lives with a doctor, and therefore a guy who is very keen on following all the latest advancements and breakthroughs in the world of medicine.  With this morning’s news that Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have been discharged from Emory University Hospital, a positive ray of light has pierced the seemingly ever-present storm clouds hovering over the world, whether one looks to the Russia/Ukraine border, Ferguson, Missouri or the Gaza Strip.

From the New York Times:

The two American aid workers who were the first patients ever to be treated for the Ebola virus at a hospital in the United States have been released, capping a transcontinental medical drama that stirred public debate about whether any American with the virus should have been allowed to return.

Emory University Hospital, which admitted Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol to a specialized isolation ward earlier this month, said both were discharged after at least two weeks of treatment. Dr. Brantly was released on Thursday, the hospital said, after Ms. Writebol was quietly discharged on Tuesday.

While the media would have you believe that contracting Ebola is akin to a death sentence, that is simply not the case. According to WHO statistics, Liberia and Sierra Leone are reporting death rates of 56% and 43% respectively (of those infected with the disease). With the United States now standing at a 0% death rate for those treated on U.S. soil, one has to wonder if the successful treatment of Writebol and Brantly might possibly signify the beginning of more advanced treatment of this terrible disease – treatment resulting in far lower death rates than those reported in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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The exact cause of the treatment’s success has yet to be determined; it’s entirely possible that Brantly and Writebol are just two of the lucky few, with no more to it than that. If that’s not all, though, then we must all hope that the technology, medication and treatment methods used in these cases soon find there way to Africa.

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