The third American aid worker who contracted Ebola in Africa said Thursday that he has been released from a Nebraska hospital.
Dr. Rick Sacra has been cleared of the Ebola virus from the federal Centers from Disease Control and released from the Nebraska Medical Center, he said at a news conference.
"I feel great, except that I am extremely weak," Sacra said in response to a question about how he's feeling. He said he has been working up to 5 minutes of exercise on a stationary bike and hopes to walk his dog soon after arriving back home.
The 51-year-old from Worcester, Massachusetts, began improving shortly after he arrived in Omaha on Sept. 5. He contracted Ebola while working at a hospital in Liberia with the North Carolina-based charity SIM.
The World Health Organization says the Ebola virus is believed to have killed more than 2,900 people in West Africa. Governments are scrambling to contain the disease outbreak, and the United States has promised to send 3,000 soldiers to the region to help.
"Though my crisis has reached a successful end here, unfortunately the Ebola crisis continues to burn out of control in West Africa," Sacra said.
Two other American doctors who contracted Ebola were treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, and were released after recovering. A fourth American with Ebola is still being treated in Atlanta.
Dr. Phil Smith has said Sacra received an experimental Tekmira Pharmaceuticals drug called TKM-Ebola for a week after he arrived in Omaha. Sacra also received two blood transfusions from friend and fellow doctor Dr. Kent Brantly, one of the two Americans who recovered from Ebola. These blood transfusions are believed to help a patient fight off the Ebola virus because the survivor's blood carries antibodies for the disease.
Sacra also received supportive care including IV fluids and aggressive electrolyte management, and his own immune system fought the virus.
Doctors have said that the combination of treatments Sacra received makes it difficult to know what helped him fight off Ebola.
The Nebraska doctors who treated Sacra have been in regular contact with the doctors in Atlanta who also treated Ebola patients. They hope new treatments can be developed based on their experiences.