As another U.S. missionary doctor serving in Liberia has come down with the Ebola virus, the head of the federal Centers for Disease Control declared that while the disease is “out of control” in West Africa, it poses no threat to the United States.
Recently returned from a trip to West Africa’s Ebola crisis points in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden appeared on CBS This Morning September 2 to say that the world is in the midst of its first Ebola epidemic, “and it’s spiraling out of control. It’s bad now, and it’s going to get worse in the very near future. There is still a window of opportunity to tamp it down, but that window is closing. We really have to act now.”
Meanwhile, the third U.S. medical missionary serving in Liberia has been diagnosed with the potentially deadly virus. SIM, the same missionary organization with which another U.S. Ebola victim, nurse Nancy Writebol, was working in Liberia, identified the latest medical missionary to come down with the disease as Dr. Rick Sacra, a 51-year-old family physician from Massachusetts.
Writebol and U.S. physician Kent Brantly, who were described as gravely ill with Ebola before being shipped back to the U.S. under extreme isolation in early August, have both reportedly recovered from the disease.
SIM president Bruce Johnson said that Sacra, who has served in Liberia for several years, had returned to the country only last month after his two fellow American missionaries were diagnosed with Ebola.
Johnson said in a statement that “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 LiberianSIM/ELWA colleagues, who continue fighting the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. We have gifted Liberian doctors, medical staff, and support staff who are carrying on the fight.”