MONROVIA, Liberia – One of Liberia’s most high-profile doctors has died of Ebola, officials said Sunday, and an American physician was being treated for the deadly virus, highlighting the risks facing health workers trying to combat an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people in West Africa – the largest ever recorded.
A second American, a missionary working in the Liberian capital, was taken ill and was being treated in isolation there, said the pastor of a North Carolina church that sponsored her work.
Dr. Samuel Brisbane, a top Liberian health official, was treating Ebola patients at the country’s largest hospital, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Monrovia, when he fell ill. He died Saturday, said Tolbert Nyenswah, an assistant health minister.
A Ugandan doctor died earlier this month.
The American physician, Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, was in Liberia helping to respond to the outbreak that has killed 129 people nationwide when he fell ill, according to Samaritan’s Purse, a medical charity from North Carolina.
Brantly was receiving intensive medical care in a Monrovia hospital and was in stable condition, according to a spokeswoman for the aid group, Melissa Strickland.
The American missionary, Nancy Writebol, was gravely ill and in isolation in Monrovia, her husband, David, told a church elder via Skype, according to the Rev. John Munro, pastor of Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
There is no known cure for the highly contagious virus. At least 1,201 people have been infected in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to the World Health Organization, and 672 have died.