The two American missionaries who contracted the ebola virus in Liberia have recovered

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After nearly three weeks of treatment, the two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa have been discharged from an Atlanta hospital. Dr Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were medical missionaries working for Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham’s organization.

VIDEO by Associated Press

Dr Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, Photo credit

US doctor ‘thrilled to be alive’ after Ebola recovery

Dr Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, two missionaries who became ill with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, are released from hospital. The two missionaries, Doctor Kent Brantly, 33, and Nancy Writebol, 60, were infected with Ebola in Monrovia last month as the largest outbreak in history swept West Africa.

Three weeks ago, the pair were airlifted to to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia for treatment in special isolation units. Both victims of the deadly disease received a drug called ZMapp, though experts say it is impossible to know if that aided their recovery.

VIDEO by The Telegraph

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Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone remain in the grip of the worst outbreak of Ebola virus in history. According to the latest figures from the Centre for Disease Prevention, 1145 people have died so far from 2127 cases. That number is likely to have already risen.

To put that in context, the biggest previous outbreak of the disease saw 224 deaths from 425 cases, and there have only been 2,300 deaths from all previous outbreaks of the virus. This outbreak, which has been growing since March, concerns the deadliest form of the Ebola virus,Zaire ebolavirus.

Health officials are now exploring whether the natural immunity survivors gain after they shed the virus can be shared with others. The idea would be to use their plasma, the part of blood that contains immune system warriors called antibodies, to help fight off the infection.

Named after the country which saw the first outbreak of the disease in 1976, the Zaire strain kills on average 78 per cent of those who contract it. It is mainly found in tropical Central and West Africa and can have up to a 90 per cent mortality rate.

“This is the largest outbreak of this disease to date, and it’s clear it is not under control, ” said Dr Brian McCloskey, director of global health at Public Health England.

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