Another American missionary has contracted the often-deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, according to SIM USA, the Charlotte-based charity that sponsors the doctor’s work in Liberia.
The doctor, who is not from Charlotte, was not identified by SIM. He has been treating obstetrics patients at ELWA hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, but was not treating Ebola patients in the hospital’s isolation unit, which is separate from the main hospital on a 136-acre campus.
SIM, based on a 90-acre campus near Carowinds Boulevard, has called a news conference Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to “provide additional and updated details.”
Also Wednesday, Nancy Writebol, a Charlotte missionary for SIM who contracted Ebola, is expected to talk publicly for the first time about her fight to survive the deadly virus.
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In a news release Tuesday, SIM said it is not clear how the doctor contracted the disease, but he is “doing well and in good spirits.” Once he developed symptoms of Ebola disease, the doctor isolated himself and has since been transferred to the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) hospital isolation unit.
“My heart was deeply saddened, but my faith was not shaken, when I learned another of our missionary doctors contracted Ebola,” Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA, said in the news release.
Two other Americans who contracted the Ebola virus and survived the infection also had worked at the ELWA hospital, which is operated by SIM, an international Christian mission group serving in more than 65 countries.
Writebol, a Charlotte missionary for SIM, contracted Ebola in late July and was flown to Atlanta for treatment at Emory University Hospital. She was released Aug. 19 after doctors declared her cured of the disease and said she could return to a normal life with “no public health threat.”
That same week, Dr. Kent Brantly, a missionary with North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse, also was released from the Emory hospital. He also had contracted the viral infection in Liberia and was flown to Atlanta for treatment.
Both Writebol and Brantly, the first two Ebola patients treated in the United States, received doses of an experimental drug, ZMapp, which had never been tested in humans. Brantly also had received a blood transfusion in Liberia from a teenager who survived the Ebola infection. But health officials have said they don’t know if those treatments contributed to the missionaries’ recovery.
At the ELWA hospital, Brantly cared for Ebola patients, and Writebol helped decontaminate protective gear worn by health care workers when they treated patients.
Health officials say they don’t know how Writebol and Brantly contracted the virus, because they were following infection control protocols devised by the CDC and the World Health Organization. The Associated Press contributed