UK & World News

  • 29 July 2014, 23:33

US Doctor Stricken With Ebola 'Is Terrified'

An American doctor who contracted Ebola while working with patients in Liberia has admitted he is "terrified" of the disease.

Kent Brantly, 33, wrote of his fears in an email to friend and colleague David Mcray who knew him while he worked at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.

"I'm praying fervently that God will help me survive this disease," Dr Brantly wrote on Monday, asking for co-worker and fellow American Nancy Writebol, who has also fallen ill, to be included in the prayers.

As the Texas-trained doctor continued to fight for his life, another doctor treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone succumbed to the deadly virus.

A medical colleague confirmed on Tuesday that Dr Shek Umar, who was credited with treating more than 100 sufferers, died in the far north of the country a week after being diagnosed with the infection.

More than 670 people have died in the West African outbreak.

Dr Brantly, who remains in an isolation unit in Monrovia, travelled to Liberia last October to work with a Christian aid group.

He and his wife, Amber, decided to remain with their two small children after the Ebola virus moved from neighbouring Guinea into Liberia and Dr Brantly took charge of the mission hospital's Ebola clinic.

He contracted the disease despite wearing full-body protective clothing.

The doctor's family returned to the US for a wedding only days before he fell ill and quarantined himself.

Mrs Brantly and the children are staying with family and are being observed for any early sign of viral infection - a specialist doctor says Ebola "poses little risk to the general US population".

Dr Brantly himself cannot be evacuated to Europe for treatment because of fears that the highly contagious disease - which spreads through direct contact with blood and other bodily fluids - could be spread.

Initial symptoms of the disease include fever and a sore throat which then moves on to vomiting, diarrhoea and internal bleeding.

There is no known cure.

Advertisement