Kent Brantly, a Samaritan's Purse doctor, contracts deadly Ebola virus while treating patients

(Photo: Samaritan's Purse)
Dr. Kent Brantly gives orders for medication through the doorway to the isolation unit where he was caring for three patients

An American doctor working in Liberia tested positive for Ebola virus, the organization he works for announced Sunday.

Dr. Kent Brantly was treating Ebola patients in Monrovia through Christian humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse. He is currently being treated in an area hospital.

Dr. Brantly is the medical director for the Samaritan's Purse Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center. He spent hours caring for the center's three Ebola-stricken patients while wearing protective boot covers, gloves, coveralls, and a face mask.

Samaritan's Purse spokesperson Melissa Strickland said Brantly followed all safety precautions.

"It's too early to try to explain it. We will have an intensive and thorough investigation," she told Reuters.

Brantly, 33, recognized his symptoms and quarantined himself in the Eternal Love Willing Africa (ELWA) Hospital. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Ebola virus disease, or Ebola hemorrhagic fever, typically causes fever, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, joint pain, and other symptoms.

The disease is transmitted by coming into contact with the bodily fluid of an infected person, or touching objects such as needles that have come into contact with infected bodily fluid. The CDC recommends proper sterilization of medical equipment, and wearing protective clothing to decrease the chances of infection.

Samaritan's Purse also announced that an employee with the Serving in Mission (SIM) humanitarian organization has contracted the virus. Like Brantly, Nancy Writebol was working at the Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center.

The center operates in conjunction with the CDC, Liberia's Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, the World Health Organization, and other international efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak that struck Liberia in March.

BBC News reported that the outbreak began in southern Guinea in February, and quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Over 660 people have been killed by the virus, and there is no cure. The mortality rate of the current outbreak is 60 percent.

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