The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa continues to spin out of control since symptoms were first observed in the region four months ago. More than a thousand cases have been suspected, and many confirmed, with 660 deaths so far, according to the World Health Organization. On Saturday, an American doctor working in the region contracted the deadly virus, according the Associated Press.
Kent Brantly, 33, has been working in Liberia for the North Carolina-based Samaritan's Purse since October 2013 and “recognized his own symptoms and confined himself to an isolation ward,” according to Reuters. The organization issued a news release confirming that Brantly had contracted the virus and was being treated at a hospital in Monrovia. Here’s more on Brantly from the AP:
The highly contagious virus is one of the most deadly diseases in the world. Photos of Brantly working in Liberia show him in white coveralls made of a synthetic material that he wore for hours a day while treating Ebola patients. Brantly was quoted in a posting on the organization's website earlier this year about efforts to maintain an isolation ward for patients. "The hospital is taking great effort to be prepared," Brantly said. "In past Ebola outbreaks, many of the casualties have been healthcare workers who contracted the disease through their work caring for infected individuals."
It is not clear how Brantly contracted the virus that historically kills 90 percent of those who catch it. Earlier this week, another medical worker, Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, one of the leaders of the anti-Ebola effort in Sierra Leone, also tested positive for the virus.