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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 10th, 2014
05:55 PM ET

Ebola survivor originally sent home with Malaria diagnosis

(CNN) – The first person to die of Ebola in the U.S. had a fever of 103 degrees when he was first sent home from a Texas hospital.

It seems like a red flag that could have saved Thomas Duncan's life was missed, but Ebola survivor Nancy Writebol said a similar misdiagnosis happened in her case.

Working at a hospital in Liberia as a missionary, Nancy began suffering from a fever spike, aches, and a headache back in July. She called her doctor at the hospital, saying she believed she had malaria. Nancy was told to come in for testing.

"I went back up and they did the malaria test. It was positive. And I went home with malaria medication," Nancy said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper. "But the fever never went away. And so it's really easy to wonder what it is that you're dealing with whether it's malaria or typhoid, it can be all sorts of things."

Nancy received the experimental drug ZMapp before leaving Liberia for the United States, and received supportive therapy at Emory University Hospital, treatment that supports the patient's immune system as it tries to battle the infection.

She was released from Emory on August 19. Though she is not considered contagious, people are still wary around her, says her husband David Writebol.

"Even after Nancy got out of the hospital, we experienced people who were a little bit reluctant to get close to us, and they were happy to see that we were well, but they didn't want us to shake hands with them or to embrace them," he said.

For more of our interview with Ebola survivor Nancy Writebol and her husband, check out the video above.

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