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Cured Ebola Doc to Newsmax: I'd Return to Virus-Plagued Liberia

By    |   Thursday, 23 Jul 2015 03:51 PM

The American doctor who contracted Ebola in Liberia — and lived to tell about it — tells Newsmax TV he'd go back to the impoverished African nation despite his life-or-death ordeal.

"We would do it again, but I'm not eager to go through that experience of Ebola again," Dr. Kent Brantly said Thursday to Bill Tucker, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show."

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Brantly, the first American treated for Ebola in the United States, and his wife, Amber, are out with a new book, "Called For Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us Into the Ebola Epidemic," written with David Thomas and published by WaterBrook Press.

Kent, medical director for the North Carolina-based Samaritan's Purse, and Amber, a nurse, moved with their young son and daughter to war-torn Liberia in the fall of 2013 to provide medical care for its dirt-poor residents.

Less than a year later, Kent contracted the deadly Ebola virus and was forced into quarantine, getting sicker and sicker as the weeks passed.

Symptoms of Ebola, which spreads by direct contact with body fluids, include fever, sore throat, muscular pain and headaches, followed by vomiting, diarrhea and rashes. Next, liver and kidney function decreases and victims begin to bleed internally and externally.
Flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment, Brantly recovered and is now Ebola free.

"Amber and I each shared a calling to be medical missionaries. We wanted … to use our skills as medical professionals to offer help to people who don't necessarily have access to medical care," Brantly told Tucker.

"When we felt that call together, we did this as a family. We acknowledged the risks of the move we were making, we considered our children's safety. We prayed about the risks that we might be taking.

"We also took action to protect ourselves as much as was possible. We got all of our vaccinations and all that kind of thing."

Kent became a media sensation around the world as daily dispatches told of his fierce battle to beat the virus. He said his family is stronger because of the ordeal.

"My children will have an enriched life moving forward because of the experience we had living in Liberia and because of whatever kind of work we will do after this," Brantly said.

He also warned that the Ebola threat remains.

"It is not over at all. This outbreak that I was a part of a year ago is still ongoing. It's never been brought to a full close," Brantly said.

"So Sierra Leone and Guinea continue to diagnose 20 to 30 new cases every week and even Liberia … declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization [in May], at the end of June there was a resurgence of cases there.

"So they are now again on their countdown to try to become Ebola-free again. That's something we're not aware of because it's not in our news cycle, it's not on the headlines, but people need to know the situation has not been resolved yet."

He said people can help by donating to such charities as Samaritan's Purse and Doctors Without Borders.

"Talk with your friends about it, inform your community, write letters to your government leaders to ask them to not forget about, to not give up on this effort in West Africa," he said.

"Pray for the people of West Africa who are suffering. It's really hard, maybe impossible, to remain apathetic towards people for whom we're praying. So to keep them in mind is to have motivation to take action."

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The American doctor who contracted Ebola in Liberia - and lived to tell about it - tells Newsmax TV he'd go back to the impoverished African nation despite his life-or-death ordeal.
doctor, ebola, liberia, Ken Brantly
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2015-51-23
Thursday, 23 Jul 2015 03:51 PM
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