(HealthDay News) — Two Americans working to help Ebola victims in the West African country of Liberia have themselves become infected, an aid organization said.
According to the Associated Press, Kent Brantly, MD, 33, has tested positive for the highly contagious, often fatal viral disease and is currently being treated in a hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. The North Carolina-based aid agency Samaritan’s Purse announced his illness in a news release issued Saturday, the AP said. Brantly, who previously worked at a family practice in Fort Worth, Texas, has been working in Liberia since October of 2013 and is the medical director for Samaritan’s Purse’s case management center in Monrovia.
The second American stricken with Ebola is Nancy Writebol, a worker with a group called SIM (Serving in Mission) that is allied with Samaritan’s Purse. She had been working as a hygienist focused on decontaminating people who entered and left the Monrovia Ebola care center, the AP said. Both Brantly and Writebol are in “stable and serious” condition, Samaritan’s Purse vice-president Ken Isaacs told the AP Sunday.
Group spokeswoman Melissa Strickland said that Brantly’s wife and children had been living with him in Africa but are currently back in the United States. They left last week, before Brantly began to feel ill. “They have absolutely shown no symptoms,” she said, according to the AP. The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 670 people across several West African nations so far this year.