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Washington (AFP) — Two American missionaries who fell ill with the dangerous Ebola virus while working in Liberia have recovered and have been released from an Atlanta hospital, doctors said Thursday.

Doctor Kent Brantly, 33, and Nancy Writebol, 60, became sick with Ebola in Monrovia last month, and were airlifted to Emory University Hospital for treatment.

“The discharge from the hospital of both these patients poses no public health threat,” said Bruce Ribner, director of Emory’s Infectious Disease Unit.

Writebol was released on August 19, according to a statement from the aid group for which she worked, SIM USA.

Brantly appeared alongside doctors from Emory University Hospital at a press conference, smiling in a blue dress shirt and holding hands with his wife.

“After a rigorous course of treatment and testing, the Emory Healthcare team has determined that both patients have recovered from the Ebola virus and can return to their families and community without concern for spreading this infection to others,” Ribner said.

The current outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa is the largest in history and has killed 1,350 people since March in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.

The president of the Christian missionary group for which Brantly worked in Liberia, Samaritan’s Purse, hailed the doctor’s “courageous spirit” as he battled the virus.

“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,” said Franklin Graham.

“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.”

AFP Photo/Joni Byker

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