| WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., July 28
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., July 28 The family of a
Texas doctor who contracted the deadly Ebola virus in West
Africa had traveled back to the United States before he showed
symptoms and was not at risk for getting or spreading the
disease, U.S. health officials said on Monday.
Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, is one of two American relief workers
to test positive for the highly contagious virus that has killed
672 people across the region in the largest-ever Ebola outbreak,
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
He was treating Ebola patients in Monrovia, Liberia, in his
role as medical director for a case management center run by
North Carolina-based Samaritan's Purse, a relief organization
headed by evangelist Franklin Graham.
The organization said a missionary from Charlotte, North
Carolina, was also in isolation receiving treatment after
testing positive for Ebola.
Nancy Writebol had helped disinfect the protective suits
worn by medical personnel inside the isolation ward at the
center in Monrovia, said Rachael Mills, a Samaritan's Purse
Mills did not have details on Monday about the conditions of
Brantly and Writebol, who she said each had served in Liberia
"It's just really amazing that people like Dr. Brantly and
Ms. Nancy raise their hands and go and risk their lives to
assist these people," Mills said.
Health officials said Brantly's wife and two young children
returned to Abilene, Texas, before he displayed signs of the
disease, which is not contagious until symptoms such as fever,
headache, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding occur.
They have not shown any symptoms and their blood tests have
been negative for Ebola, said doctors at John Peter Smith
Hospital in Fort Worth, where Brantly did his residency.
The family is on a 21-day fever watch "out of an abundance
of caution," said Stephan Monroe, deputy director of the CDC's
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.
Writebol's husband, also a missionary, is devastated by her
diagnosis, said the couple's pastor in Charlotte. The fatality
rate of the current outbreak is about 60 percent.
"She's not doing well," Calvary Church senior pastor John
Munro said in the Charlotte Observer. "It's grim news."
No Ebola cases have been reported in the United States.
President Barack Obama is getting updates on the outbreak, and
the CDC said it was alerting U.S. healthcare providers to watch
for signs of the virus.
"The likelihood of this outbreak outside of West Africa is
very low," Monroe said. But he added that the "CDC needs to be
prepared for the remote possibility about someone bringing it
(Additional reporting by Jana J. Pruet in Dallas; Editing by