Sunday, July 27, 2014

U.S. doctor contracts Ebola in Liberia

Medical staff take a blood sample from a suspected Ebola patient at the government hospital in Kenema, July 10, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Tommy Trenchard

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DAKAR (Reuters) - A 33-year-old American doctor working for a relief organization in Liberia's capital has tested positive for the tropical disease Ebola, according to a statement from Samaritan's Purse.

Dr. Kent Brantly, medical director at one of the country's two treatment centers run by the organization, recognized his own symptoms and confined himself to an isolation ward.

It was not immediately clear how he caught Ebola. The relief group's Melissa Strickland said that he had followed strict safety protocols when treating patients.

"It's too early to try to explain it. We will have an intensive and thorough investigation," she said.

Across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, at least 660 people have died from the illness, according to the World Health Organisation, as poor, ill-equipped African governments have struggled to cope with the virus.

Ebola kills up to 90 percent of those who catch it, although the fatality rate of the current outbreak is lower at around 60 percent. Highly contagious, patients suffer from vomiting and diarrhea as well as internal and external bleeding.

(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

FILED UNDER: U.S.Health Tweet this Link this Share this Digg this EmailPrintReprints   We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/Comments (2) Argyle9 wrote: God bless, doctor, and here’s praying your fight brings you to that 10% to 40% range — as well as everyone else afflicted.

Jul 26, 2014 10:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse REnninga1 wrote: This is getting scary. The worst spread of Ebola in history, to date.
It’s only a matter of time before an infected person who is not yet exhibiting symptoms gets onboard an International airline flight … and lets Pandora out of the African box.
The world’s health organizations should be mobilizing in force and pulling out all the stops to prevent this horrible virus from getting out of Western Africa, otherwise this could be the big one.

Jul 26, 2014 10:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse See All Comments » Add Your Comment
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