Officials ID missionary being monitored with 'some risk' of Ebola

by: Trish Williford Updated:

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CHARLOTTE - For the second time in just three months, an SIM doctor and his family are in quarantine in Charlotte after concerns he could be at risk for the deadly Ebola virus.
 
RAW VIDEO: Health officials discuss status of Dr. Fankhauser

Officials said Dr. John Fankhauser -- a California doctor and SIM missionary -- recently left Liberia, a West African country affected by the Ebola outbreak.

Fankhauser has not only helped patients in Liberia, he even cared for Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol after they contracted the virus.

Health officials provided an update on the situation Monday morning, saying Fankhauser was healthy and showing no signs of Ebola.

ARTICLE: Test results for Ebola in patient at Duke University Hospital 'negative'

Fankhauser has been classified at “some risk” under the categories outlined by the Centers for Disease Control. This means he had close contact in households, health care facilities or community settings with a person with Ebola while the person was infectious and may need to be quarantined.

Officials told Channel 9 that Fankhauser arrived in Charlotte via private ground transport, not through Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Fankhauser will be closely monitored by Health Department Communicable Disease staff for 21 days, according to state and CDC guidelines.

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Officials said Fankhauser was being monitored at the SIM RV park behind the SIM headquarters in south Charlotte where others have been quarantined in the past, including David Writebol. Writebol was placed in quarantine after his wife, SIM missionary Nancy Writebol, contracted Ebola.

Officials said Fankhauser returned to Liberia after Labor Day to care for fellow SIM missionary Dr. Rick Sacra, who was diagnosed with Ebola. Fankhauser also treated Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly.

During the update, Channel 9 learned that Fankhauser flew from West Africa to Atlanta on a commercials flight where his wife then drove him to Charlotte on Saturday. Once in the Queen City they were both ordered to be quarantined at the SIM RV park. Fankhauser was also monitored for Ebola symptoms at the RV park in August.

WATCH: Patient with 'some risk' of Ebola monitored in Charlotte

The department also said the risk to the community is “very low,” and health officials are informing the community out of an abundance of caution.

“SIM has been working closely with state and local public health officials for weeks for the anticipated return of this missionary to the U.S.,” said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA. “This missionary has been checked by our public health officials and is healthy and shows no signs of Ebola. SIM’s policy is to follow CDC guidelines, adhere to the directives of our public health agencies and to treat people as we would want to be treated.”

CLICK HERE to read Fankhauser's blog

CLICK HERE for a video of Fankhauser's work

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