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Boston Doctor Heading To Africa To Battle Ebola Outbreak

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BOSTON – (CBS) – She will soon be heading to the front lines of perhaps the world’s most urgent medical battle – the fight against the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

Dr. Nahid Bhadelia is infection control director at Boston university’s national emerging infectious diseases laboratory. In mid-August, the Brookline native will go to Sierra Leone to share her expertise and directly care for Ebola patients.

“I have a healthy amount of fear and respect but that fear is tempered by my knowledge about this pathogen and by my background and training,” said Bhadelia.

Bhadelia has been closely watching Saturday’s arrival in the U.S. of American doctor Kent Brantley who was infected with Ebola while treating patients in Liberia. Brantley’s jet from Africa first touched down in Bangor, Maine for refueling, It then headed to Georgia, where he was transported by ambulance to Atlanta’s Emory University. That’s where Dr. Brantley will be treated along with American relief worker Nancy Writebol, who will arrive a few days from now.

“Ebola is not airborne. There is no risk to the general population from Dr. Brantley and Nancy Writebol. The other part of me of course feels for them and their families,” Bhadelia said.

Dr. Bhadelia is fully aware of the risk she’s taking, but with the African outbreak gaining ground, she’s determined to lend a hand.

“I think of it this way – I think if we have a dangerous war going on at a distant shore, our soldiers don’t say ‘hey we’re scared. We’re not going to go,’” Bhadelia said.

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