Video courtesy of USA Today

(RNS) A third American aid worker has been diagnosed with Ebola.

The missionary group SIM USA announced Tuesday (Sept. 2) that one of its American doctors has been diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia. The doctor was treating pregnant women and those giving birth in the capital city of Monrovia.

He was not treating Ebola patients in the hospital’s isolation unit, however. The group said in a statement that it isn’t known how the doctor was infected. The doctor isolated himself as soon as he developed symptoms, and he has been transferred to the Ebola isolation unit. He is doing well and is in good spirits, according to SIM USA.

Kent Brantly of Samaritan’s Purse, right, gives orders for medication to administer to the Ebola patients through the doorway of the isolation unit in Liberia. Dr. Brantly spent almost four hours in a Tyvek suit in order to care for the three patients in the unit.

Kent Brantly of Samaritan’s Purse, right, gives orders for medication to administer to the Ebola patients through the doorway of the isolation unit in Liberia. Dr. Brantly spent almost four hours in a Tyvek suit in order to care for the three patients in the unit. Photo courtesy Samaritan's Purse


This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

In a related development, Kent Brantly, an American doctor earlier diagnosed with Ebola and now recovering from it, gave his first interview to NBC’s Matt Lauer. Brantly said that on July 23, when he first became ill, he knew something was wrong.

“I woke up that morning and really I just felt a little off, I felt a little warm, I felt under the weather,” Brantly said. “I took my temperature and it was 100.0, I think.”

Brantly said he was thankful his wife and two children had left a few days before to attend a wedding in Texas. He said he was not aware that there was one night when doctors thought he would die, but he does remember a night when he felt he wouldn’t make it.

“I felt like I was about to die and I said to the nurse who was taking care of me, ‘I’m sick, I have no reserve and I don’t know how long I can keep this up,’” he told Lauer.

Including Brantly, more than 240 health care workers have been diagnosed with Ebola in the West African outbreak, and more than half have died, according to the World Health Organization. In all, Ebola has infected more than 3,000 people and killed more than 1,500 in this outbreak, the largest in history.

“My heart was deeply saddened, but my faith was not shaken, when I learned another of our missionary doctors contracted Ebola,” said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA, in a statement. “We have gifted Liberian doctors, medical staff and support staff who are carrying on the fight.”

American worker Nancy Writebol, was discharged Tuesday (Aug. 19) after being treated for Ebola. Photo couresy of SIM

American worker Nancy Writebol, was discharged Tuesday (Aug. 19) after being treated for Ebola. Photo couresy of SIM


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Another aid worker with SIM USA, Nancy Writebol, also became infected with Ebola while working in Liberia. She was flown to the United States for treatment with one of the few doses of an experimental medication, ZMapp, and survived. The maker of ZMapp, based in San Diego, has said its supplies of the unapproved drug are gone.

Brantly developed Ebola while working in Liberia with a different aid group, Samaritan’s Purse. He also was flown to the U.S. for treatment. He received both ZMapp and a transfusion from an African teenager who survived Ebola. Both Brantly and Writebol were released from the hospital last month. Neither had any sign of Ebola virus in their blood.

(Liz Szabo writes for USA Today. Also contributing: Melanie Eversley in New York.)

1 Comment

  1. For readers who are wondering:

    ‘SIM’ stands for ‘Sudan Interior Mission’ and it is a FAITH-BASED MISSIONARY organization.

    Clearly we need more SCIENCE-based behavior from these organizations!

    SIM USA wastes millions of dollars on this sort of nonsense:
    “We often partner with specialized missions in Bible translation, radio outreach, community development, medicine, HIV and AIDS ministry, aviation, and more, but our distinctive is our church-focused vision. Many of our missionaries work as church planters in pioneer areas or in partnership with local churches in discipleship, evangelism, or theological education.”

    ‘RADIO OUTREACH’ – is a euphemism for ‘preaching lies about reality’.
    Radio outreach was a central component of the Rwandan Genocide where 800,000 people were slaughtered by their Catholic brothers and sisters.

    I’m suspicious of SIM because
    when women begged CATHOLIC CHARITIES in Africa for condoms so they would not be infected by their husbands the clinics refused to hand them out.
    The cold-hearted Popes replied:
    “NO……AIDS is bad, but condoms are worse”

    Subsequently 20 Million Africans died of Aids.
    Even though the Pope had been told by doctors and other scientists that condoms would be very effective in preventing the spread of the AIDS virus.

    So, yes, I am very suspicious of SIM – USA
    and its AIDS/HIV ‘treatment’
    as well as its recommendations for ‘family planning’.

    There are dozens of better groups doing work in Africa
    including godless SCIENCE-BASED organizations such as “Doctors Without Borders” who have 22,000 volunteers doing honest, healthy, non-faith medicine.

    SIM has been notorious for not following scientific protocol
    when it comes to Ebola – and its workers are getting sick.

    SIM-USA needs to be thoroughly investigated for its failures.
    OXFAM and The Red Cross do much better work.

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