Int’l (MNN) — Just as there are two sides to every coin and every story, there are two parts to the latest Ebola update. As Ebola-infected patients recover in the U.S., a new development worsens the crisis in Liberia.
Ebola update: U.S.A.
First, the good news: Dr. Kent Brantly and nurse Nancy Writebol, medical missionaries who contracted Ebola in Liberia while working at a hospital managed by Serving In Missions (SIM), are well on their way to recovery.
“As my treatment continues in the isolation unit at Emory University Hospital, I am recovering in every way,” writes Brantly in a statement released by Samaritan’s Purse.
“I thank God for the healthcare team here who is giving me compassionate, world-class care. I am more grateful every day to the Lord for sparing my life and continuing to heal my body.”
Samaritan’s Purse is working closely together with SIM to fight the Ebola crisis in Liberia. All but essential personnel have been evacuated from the hospital, and Samaritan’s Purse is continuing to monitor missionaries’ health.
Missionary David Writebol shared a similarly-positive update about his wife, Nancy, on SIM’s Web site.
“I have had the great joy to be able to look through the isolation room glass and see my beautiful wife again,” states Writebol. “She was standing with her radiant smile, happy beyond words. She is continuing to slowly gain strength, eager for the day when the barriers separating us are set aside, and we can simply hold each other.
“We prayed together over the intercom, praising our great and might God for His goodness to us.”
Ebola update: Liberia
While missionaries and their families celebrate in the U.S., Liberia’s latest Ebola update reflects a darker tone. At least 17 infected patients have reportedly left a health center and returned to their communities. In addition, supplies contaminated with the Ebola virus have been stolen by protestors, a senior police officer told reporters on condition of anonymity.
“This is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen in my life,” he told BBC News. “All between the houses, you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients.”
Ebola is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person–blood, sweat, feces, or vomit. Eyewitnesses of the weekend attack told the Associated Press that items stolen from the hospital had bloodstains. However, no reports have confirmed that the stolen items were used by Ebola patients.
Residents of the capital city’s largest slum, West Point, reportedly broke into a health center over the weekend that contained quarantined Ebola patients. Over 30 people were being cared for at the time, and they all fled when the attack began. Yesterday, Liberia’s government confirmed that 17 patients are still missing.
Keep praying for the Lord to be made known through this horrible Ebola outbreak. Pray for the safety of medical workers who are caring for Ebola patients. Pray that the next Ebola update will bring good news.