• Another missionary with Charlotte ties contracts Ebola

    By: Kathryn Burcham


    CHARLOTTE - Another missionary with Charlotte ties has contracted Ebola.

    Officials at SIM USA said the missionary is an American doctor who was treating pregnant women in Liberia’s capital city, Monrovia.
    Officials have not yet released that doctor's name, but they told Channel 9 that once he realized he was showing symptoms of the virus, he immediately isolated himself.

    Despite the seriousness of the situation, officials said that doctor remains in good spirits.

    The doctor is the third SIM mission worker to contract Ebola since the outbreak in Africa began.

    SPECIAL SECTION: Ebola outbreak

    Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol also contracted the virus, but received an experimental treatment and have now been released from the hospital and are in good health.

    There is no word on whether the latest American victim will also be receiving any experimental drugs, but officials told Channel 9 he is in the isolation unit at their hospital in Monrovia.

    SIM USA President Bruce Johnson said in a statement:

    "My heart was deeply saddened, but my faith was not shaken, when I learned another of our missionary doctors contracted Ebola.  As a global mission, we are surrounding our missionary with prayer, as well as our Liberian colleagues, who continue fighting the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. "

    Johnson and his colleagues said they plan to hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon to address the latest developments.

    Click here to read the latest updates
    on SIM’s role in the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.

    CDC: Ebola epidemic spreading across many countries

    The Centers for Disease Control said the Ebola outbreak is much worse than what official figures show.

    The director of the CDC said they have seen outbreaks before, but this is the first epidemic spreading across many countries.

    Officials said more than 2,600 people have been infected by the virus in West Africa since the outbreak began in December.

    Fifteen hundred have died.

    IMAGES: Ebola outbreak facts

    “What we're seeing is a spiraling of cases, really a hugely fast increasing basis that's harder and harder to manage,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden.

    Just last week, Senegal confirmed its first Ebola case, one week after losing its border with Guinea.

    Senegal is the fifth country in the region to report the virus.

    Meanwhile, the first human trial is starting this week to test a possible Ebola vaccine.

    It's different from the experimental Z-Mapp drug given to Charlotte missionary Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly.

    The National Institutes of Health said the vaccine they are testing has done well in primate studies.

    Researchers will use the study to determine whether the vaccine is safe. None of the test subjects is being infected with the deadly virus.

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