Charlotte Missionaries to Liberia Who Had Contact With Ebola Are Coming Home

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charlotte-missionaries-returning-homeSeveral missionaries from SIM USA (based in Charlotte) who traveled to Liberia and had personal contact with the Ebola virus will soon be returning. Health officials assured the public that they will be quarantined immediately upon arrival at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The Mecklenburg County Health Department did not release any details in regards to when they will arrive, or where they will be quarantined once they get here.

“It’s very important to hear and understand that … none of the returning missionaries are ill, none of them have the Ebola virus disease,” commented Dr. Stephen Keener at the health department’s press conference.

Keener also remarked that if the patients start showing symptoms of the virus, health officials plan to consult with experts to determine whether further evaluation is needed. Ebola symptoms can mimic those of the flu or other types of viral diseases. If someone begins to show signs of Ebola, “all the necessary precautions will be taken at a hospital. The hospital will use the normal isolation procedures to ensure the safety of the staff and public.”

Airport officials remarked that, “The arrival will occur in an undisclosed, nonpublic area in order to ensure the safe return and privacy of the passengers. The arrival is expected to have no impact to airport operations.”

Symptoms for the Ebola virus typically start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pains, and headaches. Typically nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea follow, along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys. At this point, some people begin to have bleeding problems. There is currently no known treatment for the disease; efforts to help persons who are infected include giving either oral rehydration therapy or intravenous fluids. The disease has high mortality rate: often killing between 50% and 90% of those infected with the virus. As of August 2014 more than 1750 suspected cases have been reported. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_disease)

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