BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A third American doctor who tested positive for the Ebola virus in Liberia is a Massachusetts resident.
SIM USA announced on Wednesday that missionary doctor Rick Sacra, who is from Holden and associated with Family Health Center in Worcester, contracted the Ebola virus while delivering babies in the obstetrics unit of SIM’s ELWA hospital in Monrovia, Liberia.
Sacra was not caring for Ebola patients, and it is unclear exactly how he contracted the virus.
Sacra, 51, is a Wayland native.
It is unknown whether Sacra will return to the United States for treatment.
“My heart was deeply saddened, but my faith was not shaken, when I learned another of our missionary doctors contracted Ebola,” said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA.
“As a global mission, we are surrounding our missionary with prayer, as well as our Liberian SIM/ELWA colleagues, who continue fighting the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. We have gifted Liberian doctors, medical staff and support staff who are carrying on the fight.”
Johnson said at a news conference Wednesday that Sacra returned to Liberia about a month ago after another SIM doctor and a missionary became ill with Ebola. Both survived after treatment at Emory University in Atlanta.
When Sacra began to see symptoms of Ebola, he immediately isolated himself and was then transferred to an isolation unit. The organization added that Sacra is “doing well and is in good spirits.”
Sacra posted to his Facebook profile from Monrovia on August 28, saying the prognosis was positive for those already diagnosed with Ebola.
“Thanking God for 4 more healthy discharges from the smaller ELWA Ebola Treatment unit (“ELWA 2” for short). 4 yesterday as well. These are individuals who tested positive for Ebola and have now fully recovered. Thanks, God, for every life!,” Sacra wrote.
Frances Anthes, the president and CEO of Family Health Center in Worcester told WBZ-TV Wednesday that Sacra has a 20-year history with the facility.
Anthes said Sacra’s family is still in the United States and added that he has communicated by email with Anthes, but not since he received his diagnosis.
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