Husband of U.S. missionary with Ebola visits her after quarantine ends

WINSTON-SALEM N.C. Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:06pm EDT

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WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - The husband of an American missionary stricken with Ebola has finished a health monitoring period without showing signs of the disease and was able to visit his wife at the Atlanta hospital where she is being treated, a missionary group said on Monday.

David Writebol was temporarily quarantined in North Carolina as a precaution after returning last week from Liberia, where he and his wife, Nancy, served as missionaries for SIM USA before she was infected with the deadly virus.

In a statement released by the Christian missionary group, David Writebol said the couple prayed together over an intercom during an emotional reunion on Sunday after he was cleared to travel to Emory University Hospital.

"I have had the great joy to be able to look through the isolation room glass and see my beautiful wife again," he said. "We both placed our hands on opposite sides of the glass, moved with tears to look at each other again."

Nancy Writebol is one of two U.S. aid workers with Ebola who are said to be improving after being flown to Atlanta earlier this month for treatment. Dr. Kent Brantly of Texas said in a statement on Friday that he hoped to be released from the hospital in the near future.

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has killed at least 1,145 people in four West African countries, prompting the World Health Organization to declare an international health emergency.

Meanwhile, citing what they said was "an abundance of caution," New Mexico health officials are carrying out tests on a female teacher who returned from Sierra Leone this month.

The state's Department of Health said the 30-year-old woman developed a sore throat, headache, muscle aches and fever, but that she was not considered a probable Ebola case.

She had no known exposure to the virus and was in stable condition after being admitted on Saturday to the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNM) in Albuquerque, officials said.

"UNM Hospital has isolated the patient and is following the appropriate protocols to ensure other patients and health care workers are safe," the head of the department, Retta Ward, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Additional reporting by Joseph Kolb in Albuquerque; Editing by Eric Beech and Susan Heavey)

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