*Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, the two medical missionaries who became infected with the Ebola virus, have walked out of Emory University Hospital in Atlanta – infection free.
The two were the first human beings to receive ZMapp, an experimental drug developed following the infection of approximately 2,500 people in West Africa, and the deaths of more than or more than half that number. The two are not the first people to have recovered from Ebola, and while some are skeptical about whether it was indeed the drug that cured them, or if it was simply good hospital care.
Ribner says three weeks of treating Writebol and Brantly have shown them something else: Just like with cholera, patients have severe diarrhea and they lose important chemicals called electrolytes. Replacing these minerals — notably potassium, magnesium and sodium — helps patients recover better, he said.
“The key to resolving Ebola virus infection was aggressive supportive care,” he said. This level of care just isn’t available in most parts of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where clinics struggle to even provide clean water and beds for patients.
“We knew certainly we could do that at a better level than the facility that they were in in Liberia,” Ribner added. The equivalent, he said, would be if “we took all of our patients in the intensive care unit here and sent them home and see how well they survived.”
Read more at NBC News.