SIM Liberia Missionaries Resettlement Press Conference
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Three SIM missionaries serving in Liberia during the recent Ebola virus outbreak returned to the United States late Sunday night. They flew into Charlotte-Douglas International Airport by private charter and arrived at 10:16 p.m.
SIM held a press briefing with reporters at its headquarters in Charlotte today at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Among the three is David Writebol, husband of SIM missionary Nancy Writebol, who is being treated for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. The other two missionaries are SIM doctors who have been treating Ebola patients at SIM’s ELWA medical facilities in Monrovia, Liberia. Their names are being withheld at this time to protect their privacy and that of their families.
All three SIM missionaries are healthy and showing no signs or symptoms of Ebola infection. Each was checked and cleared medically before boarding the flight from Liberia to the U.S. Each was also checked and found healthy by Mecklenburg County (N.C.) Public Health communicable disease specialists upon arrival in Charlotte.
Dr. Stephen Keener, Mecklenburg County medical director, said the quarantine is a preventative measure, and at this time public health officials feel there is no cause for concern.
“Quarantine is a public health measure to protect the public that requires healthy people who were exposed to a disease to be prevented from contact with others until it is certain that they are not infected,” Keener said in a press release Sunday.
The 21-day period is based on the longest duration of incubation, which is the delay between exposure and onset of illness for Ebola infection. The average incubation period is 8-10 days, while the range is two-21 days. In this case, the period of quarantine is only for the length of time necessary to complete the 21-day observation period, the press release went on to say.
The three SIM missionaries will be staying in a private section of SIM USA’s 90-acre campus in Charlotte until they have been released from quarantine. SIM has been working with the Mecklenburg County Health Department and the N.C. Division of Public Health to make full preparations for this period.
Upon completion of the 21-day quarantine period, David Writebol plans to visit his wife Nancy in Atlanta.
The latest updates on Writebol’s condition and SIM’s role in the Ebola epidemic in Liberia are available at www.simusa.org/ebolacrisis.
SIM (www.simusa.org) is an international Christian mission organization with a staff of nearly 3,000 workers from over 50 countries serving in more than 65 nations. In addition to medicine, SIM serves on every continent in areas of education, community development, public health and Christian witness. While SIM stood for Sudan Interior Mission when it was founded 120 years ago, it is now a global mission known as SIM (pronounced S-I-M).
To schedule an interview with Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA, contact Palmer Holt at 704-662-2569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.