Local News

Charlotte-based missionaries returning from Liberia to undergo quarantine

Posted August 10, 2014 10:27 a.m. EDT

— Charlotte-based missionary organization SIM USA announced Sunday that some of its staff members who worked with Ebola patients in Liberia will be returning to Charlotte and will undergo a quarantine.

The group said none of the workers is sick or showing symptoms of the ravaging disease, but the quarantine is being done as a precaution. Public health officials said there’s 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,” Mecklenburg County Medical Director Dr. Stephen Kenner said in a statement.

He said public health officials “express their gratitude to the courageous missionaries who are participating in the medical and humanitarian response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.”

SIM declined to release information about the number of returning missionaries, their dates of arrival or where they will stay, citing privacy concerns.

“SIM USA has been working closely with international, national, state and local public health officials since this most recent outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa began,” Bruce Johnson, the organization’s president, said in a statement. “We will continue to cooperate and collaborate with them and adhere strictly to their guidelines in the return of our missionaries to the United States.”

SIM aid worker Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kenneth Brantly, with N.C.-based Samaritan’s Purse, were infected with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia. Both remain in an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta since they returned to the United States last week.