by: Dave Faherty Updated:ATLANTA —
Doctors said there is no threat to the public's health with the release of two Americans with Charlotte ties after their treatment for Ebola.
Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol both recovered from the virus at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
Brantly was released Thursday and Writebol left the hospital on Tuesday.
Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty was with volunteers at Samaritans Purse as they watched Brantly speak for the first time Thursday.
Dozens of people applauded and others shed tears as Brantly walked into the press conference with his wife by his side.
“Today is a miraculous day. I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family,” Brantly said.
RAW VIDEO: Dr. Kent Brantly talks about recovery from Ebola
Brantly was infected with the deadly disease last month while working as a relief aid worker in Liberia through Samaritans Purse.
He spoke about trying to treat those with the virus in West Africa where already more than 1,300 people have died.
He also talked about the importance of his faith after becoming sick.
"As I lay in my bed in Liberia for the following nine days, getting sicker and weaker each day, I prayed that God would help me to be faithful even in my illness, and I prayed that in my life or in my death, He would be glorified,” Brantly said.
It was only later Brantly learned thousands of people around the world were praying for him and Writebol, another relief aid worker from Charlotte, who had also contracted the virus.
Charlotte church relieved Nancy Writebol cured of Ebola
His doctors said Brantly is not a health risk to the public.
Channel 9 watched as Brantly thanked and embraced all of those who cared for him.
His recovery has focused attention on the deadly virus and his thoughts are with those still fighting it in West Africa.
"Please continue to pray for Liberia and the people of West Africa, and encourage those in positions of leadership and influence to do everything possible to bring this Ebola outbreak to an end," Brantly said.
Brantly also asked for privacy as he continues to recover and reconnect with his family.
FULL STATEMENT: Dr. Brantly speaks after recovering from Ebola
On Thursday morning, Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan's Purse, released the following statement:
“Today I join all of our Samaritan’s Purse team around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr. Kent Brantly’s recovery from Ebola and release from the hospital. Over the past few weeks I have marveled at Dr. Brantly’s courageous spirit as he has fought this horrible virus with the help of the highly competent and caring staff at Emory University Hospital. His faithfulness to God and compassion for the people of Africa have been an example to us all.
“I know that Dr. Brantly and his wonderful family would ask that you please remember and pray for those in Africa battling, treating and suffering from Ebola. Those who have given up the comforts of home to serve the suffering and the less fortunate are in many ways just beginning this battle.
“We have more than 350 staff in Liberia, and others will soon be joining them, so please pray for those who have served with Dr. Brantly - along with the other doctors, aid workers and organizations that are at this very moment desperately trying to stop Ebola from taking any more lives.”
West Africa Ebola outbreak
The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 1,300 people across West Africa. There is no proven treatment or vaccine. Patients are given basic supportive care to keep them hydrated, maintain their blood pressure and treat any complicating infections. Ebola is spread only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick people experiencing symptoms.
On Thursday in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, calm set in one day after residents in a slum that was sealed off in an effort to contain the outbreak clashed with riot police and soldiers. World Health Organization officials were visiting two hospitals that are treating Ebola patients and struggling to keep up with the influx of patients.
The death toll is rising most quickly in Liberia, which now accounts for at least 576 of the fatalities, the WHO said. At least 2,473 people have been sickened across West Africa — more than the caseloads of all the previous two-dozen Ebola outbreaks combined.