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Statement by Dr. Bruce Ribner

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Janet Christenbury
Holly Korschun
Vince Dollard

Transcript of statement by Dr. Bruce Ribner, medical director, Emory University Hospital Serious Communicable Disease Unit, given at a news conference held Oct. 28, 2014, at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

Good afternoon and thank you for coming today.

As you have already heard, I am Bruce Ribner, and I am the medical director of the Serious Communicable Disease Unit at Emory University Hospital. I lead the team of physicians, nurses, laboratory technologists, chaplains and the host of other people who are so critically important for caring for our patients in our unit.

Today, I am pleased to announce that Amber Vinson is being discharged from Emory University Hospital.

After a rigorous course of treatment and thorough testing, we have determined that Ms. Vinson has recovered from her infection with Ebola virus, and that she can return to her family, to the community and to her life, without any concerns about transmitting this virus to any other individuals.

Speaking on behalf of everyone at Emory University Hospital, we are pleased with Ms. Vinson’s recovery and grateful for our opportunity to apply our training, care and experience in meeting her medical needs.

As fellow members of the health care community, we deeply admire Ms.Vinson’s courage and dedication in caring for patients with serious communicable diseases. Nurses are on the front lines 24 hours a day in treating our patients, and it is their skill, their knowledge, and their passion for healing that makes one of the critical differences in caring for our patients.

Now that Ebola virus transmission has occurred in the United States, we all recognize that there is a lot of anxiety in the community, and that is understandable. But the American health care system has been able to successfully treat patients with Ebola virus disease. We have the resources, we have the expertise and we have the knowledge.

We must not let fear get in the way of our primary mission, which is caring for patients with serious diseases such as Ebola virus infection.

As grateful as we are for Ms. Vinson’s recovery, we do recognize that our role as the American health care system, and our nation’s role, is far from over.

Emory has taken a lead in posting our protocols online as well as participating in webinars, answering myriads of phone calls and emails, and trying to spread knowledge of the management of this disease around the world.

We continue to collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the National Institutes of Health, with the Food and Drug Administration and the many professional organizations which have been involved in fighting this terrible outbreak.

We’d also like to acknowledge the many government officials at all levels — local, state and national — who have assisted us from the time we started to care for our first patient with Ebola virus disease.

We also want to acknowledge and thank our colleagues at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. We have been privileged to care for one of the members of their team, and we are delighted that Ms. Vinson will be rejoining her community soon.

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