ATLANTA -- At least one of the two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa has recovered and was to be discharged Thursday from an Atlanta hospital, a spokeswoman for the aid group he was working for said. Alison Geist, a spokeswoman for Samaritan's Purse, told The Associated Press she did not know the exact time Dr. Kent Brantly would be released but confirmed it would happen Thursday. Emory University Hospital planned to hold a news conference Thursday morning to discuss both patients' discharge. Franklin Graham, president of North Carolina-based Samaritan's Purse, said in a statement that the group was celebrating Brantly's recovery. He has been in the hospital's isolation unit for nearly three weeks. "Today I join all of our Samaritan's Purse team around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr. Kent Brantly's recovery from Ebola and release from the hospital," Graham's statement said. "I know that Dr. Brantly and his wonderful family would ask that you please remember and pray for those in Africa battling, treating and suffering from Ebola. Those who have given up the comforts of home to serve the suffering and the less fortunate are in many ways just beginning this battle," the statement continued. "We have more than 350 staff in Liberia, and others will soon be joining them, so please pray for those who have served with Dr. Brantly - along with the other doctors, aid workers and organizations that are at this very moment desperately trying to stop Ebola from taking any more lives." Brantly was flown out of the west African nation of Liberia on Aug. 2, and Nancy Writebol followed Aug. 5. The two were infected while working at a missionary clinic outside Liberia's capital. Writebol was working for North Carolina-based aid group SIM. Representatives for the group did not respond to messages Thursday morning. The Ebola outbreak has killed 1,350 people and counting across West Africa.
death toll is rising most quickly in Liberia, which now accounts for at least 576 of the fatalities, the WHO said. At least 2,473 people have been sickened across West Africa - more than the caseloads of all the previous two-dozen Ebola outbreaks combined. Ebola is only spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick people experiencing symptoms.
Ebola is only spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick people experiencing symptoms.
possibility being strongly considered is that the two Americans were actually infected outside the Ebola ward, at dinner or some other setting where they would not have been expected to be wearing the protective equipment. Writebol and Brantley apparently came in contact with a Liberian health care worker who was sick. He had at least a fever and several days later he died from Ebola. Now, if it turns out that's how the two Americans got Ebola, it would actually be kind of reassuring because then you wouldn't have to invoke a problem with the protective equipment as the reason for them getting infected, LaPook says.
Meeting Critical Needs During Iraq Crisis
When Islamist militants overran the ancient Christian town of Qaraqosh in northern Iraq on August 7, 33-year-old Diana had just 10 minutes to flee her birthplace. Help Victims of Persecution in IraqThough nearly midnight, panicked people were running through the streets to escape terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who, disguised as medics, were shooting people from ambulances. Cars and trucks jammed the road, filled with escaping men, women, and children. A friend saw a man shot in the head. There was no time to pack food or water.
The ride from Qaraqosh, just outside Mosul, to Erbil, the largest city in the Kurdish-controlled area of Iraq, took Diana and her fellow group of Christians nine hours instead of the normal one. When they reached that haven, at least they had their lives and the clothes on their backs.
“It’s a nightmare,” Diana said a few days ago from Erbil. “If this situation continues, lots will lose their lives and some will lose their faith. Many are asking where is God.”
Samaritan’s Purse Intensifies Aid Efforts
Diana is one of thousands of people from Christian and various religious minority groups who have fled to Erbil in recent days following gains by ISIS. Others, from more southern points of Iraq, are fleeing to Chamchamal, another area in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.
Samaritan’s Purse and our partners are responding to the growing humanitarian crisis in Iraq by providing food, shelter, clothing, and more to families displaced by the horrific violence. In Erbil alone, more than 200,000 people have sought refuge since fighting intensified in June.
Samaritan’s Purse has expanded its food relief in recent days with the influx of newly displaced families. Within one 48-hour period earlier this week, the organization fed 14,000 people. Samaritan’s Purse also continues to provide monthly supplies to families in Erbil and Chamchamal, as it has since June. More than 200 tents, along with thousands of pillows and mattresses, have already been set up in Erbil as temporary shelter for Christian families and others fleeing the Mosul area, site of ancient Nineveh. The average family size of those displaced is between seven to 10 people. A total of 500 tents have been purchased for distribution. Fifty cradle beds for infants have been provided as well, offering the babies protection from biting ants on the ground. In addition, baby/children’s clothing and 4,500 pairs of shoes have been given out.
In recent days, Samaritan’s Purse has distributed 650 shoebox gifts through Operation Christmas Child to displaced children in Erbil. Many Christian families have also been glad to receive Bibles from Samaritan’s Purse. Our recent work builds upon longstanding efforts to help those in need in northern Iraq, a region where we have been actively providing relief since 2007. For instance, as refugees from the now 3.5-year-old civil conflict in Syria flooded into the area late last year, Samaritan’s Purse provided them with food, medicine, clothing, bedding, and kerosene heaters, among other items. Alongside this work, about 65,000 Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts were airlifted to Erbil in January. Please pray for our staff and partners as they continue to help in Jesus’ Name. Pray for boldness, strength, and perseverance by Christians facing extreme persecution. Pray for peaceful political transition in Iraq, an end to violence, and for many to be saved.
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