Another American missionary has been infected with the ebola virus due to their work in Liberia. Nancy Writebol has been in Liberia with her husband David since August as part of the Christian charity SIM. The Writebols’ charity was working in conjuction with Samaritan’s Purse, the same charity Dr. Kent Brantly was serving when he was diagnosed with the disease.
Here’s what you need to know about the couple:
1. They Aren’t Medical Personnel
According to SIM’s website, David Writebol is the Technical Services Manager and SIM’s Eternal Love Winning Africa’s (ELWA’s) complex of 100 buildings. He helps staff provide electrical power, water and other technical services to the campus, which are utilized by the radio station, hospital, elementary and secondary schools on the campus. Nancy serves as a Personnel Coordinator by helping missionaries and short-term teams with their entry into Liberia. SIM’s website categorizes the Writebols’ work as Technical Services and Business Ministries/Administration/Leadership.
2. They Left Successful Software Industry and Education Careers to Serve as Missionaries
According to their biography on SIM’s website, Nancy and David did not become missionaries until they raised their two sons and left successful careers in education and the software industry. Prior to joining SIM in 2013, the Writebols’ spent 14 years serving orphans and other vulnerable children in Ecuador and Zambia.
3. Nancy Writebol Is the Second American in Liberia to Contract the Virus
Prayer need! Texas Dr. Kent Brantly (pic/left) w/Samaritan's Purse in Africa has Ebola and is in isolation. pic.twitter.com/p8WSvjUuFm
— K-LOVE News (@KLOVEnews) July 27, 2014
According to USA Today, Writebol is the second American to be diagnosed with Liberia as a result of missionary work. Dr. Kent Brantly is the other American who, after working with ebola patients in Liberia, contracted the disease. Brantly came to Liberia with his family after practicing family medicine in Fort Worth, Texas. Since being diagnosed, Brantly has been taken to the isolation ward in Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, according to NBC News.
Writebol will join Brantly in the same isolation ward, NBC News reports.
Medical professionals are required to wear special gear and suits while working with ebola patients to prevent the spread of the disease.
4. The Ebola Epidemic in Western Africa Has Caused More Than 600 Deaths and 1,000 Infections
Pray for Nancy Writebol Calvary missionary to Liberia tested positive for Ebola! Also positive is Dr Brantley with Samaritan's Purse there.
— John H. Munro (@johnmunro316) July 27, 2014
According to USA Today, the World Health Organization reports the ebola outbreak in Western Africa has killed more than 670 people and caused more than 1,000 infections. Ebola is considered one of the world’s most virulent diseases with a mortality rate of 90 percent. The disease is spread by contact with infected bodily fluids and has no cure.
5. The Virus Killed one of Liberia’s Top Ebola Doctors
RIP Dr Samuel Brisbane the first Liberian doctor to die in the Ebola outbreak
— Ola (@NaijaFlyingDr) July 27, 2014
The Associated Press reports a top doctor working in Liberia’s largest hospital died after being infected with the ebola virus. Dr. Samuel Brisbane died Saturday in a treatment center on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city. The ebola outbreak has killed 319 people in Guinea and 224 in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization reports.