Ebola-Infected Doctor in Stable Condition

Rick Sacra, 51, is being treated at the Nebraska Medical Center
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 5, 2014 6:14 PM CDT
Ebola-Infected Doctor in Stable Condition
Dr. Mark Rupp speaks at a news conference in Omaha, Neb., Friday Sept. 5, 2014, on the condition of ebola patient Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, who is treated at the center.   (Nati Harnik)

A doctor who became infected with Ebola while working in Liberia is sick but in stable condition and communicating with his caregivers at the Nebraska Medical Center, officials said today. Rick Sacra, 51, is being treated at a 10-bed special isolation unit, the largest of the US' four. It was built to handle patients with highly infectious and deadly diseases, according to the chief of the infectious diseases division at the center. Sacra—the third American aid worker sickened with the virus—arrived at 6:38am today at the Omaha hospital.

Sacra, a doctor from Worcester, Massachusetts, who spent 15 years working at the Liberia hospital where he fell ill, said he felt compelled to return after hearing that two other missionaries with the North Carolina-based charity SIM with whom he'd worked were sick. He delivered babies at the hospital, and was not involved in the treatment of Ebola patients, so it's unclear how he became infected with the virus. His medical team is discussing experimental treatments, including using blood serum from a patient who has recovered from Ebola. (The first two American aid workers infected by Ebola—Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol—have recovered since being flown to Atlanta for treatment.)

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