'Today is a miraculous day'

Published 08/21 2014 06:48PM

Updated 08/21 2014 06:53PM

(NBC News) Nearly three weeks after surprising many by walking into Emory University Hospital sick with Ebola, Dr. Kent Brantly is walking out.

"Today is a miraculous day," Brantly said. "I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family."

Fellow missionary Nancy Writebol was released on Tuesday.

Brantly and Writebol contracted the virus while working to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Both have been in a special isolation unit at Emory receiving treatment. They were the first to get an experimental Ebola drug called Z-Mapp that appears to have helped.

Doctors say Brantly and Writebol are no longer contagious. The Emory team, highly trained in treating infectious diseases, also say bringing the patients back to the United States for treatment was the right call.

"What we learned in caring for them will help advance the world's understanding of how to treat Ebola virus infections," said Dr. Bruce Ribner.

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