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Ebola Survivor Rick Sacra Returning to Fight Virus in Liberia

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Dr. Rick Sacra is returning to Liberia, the West African country where he contracted the virus this, in January to resume working as a medical missionary.

He plans to spend four weeks at ELWA Hospital, a clinic outside Monrovia where he contracted the ebola in August

Sacra, who was one of about 10 people treated for Ebola in the U.S. said he “feels great” and that doctors have said he’s now effectively immune to Ebola, which has no vaccine.

“I’m not hearing a lot of push back from home,” Sacra said. “I’ve been working there for years, and my risk at this point is no different than it was before because I’m immune to Ebola.”

Sacra spent weeks in treatment at an Omaha, Nebraska, hospital before returning home on Sept. 25. The University of Massachusetts Medical School faculty member has worked in medical missions in Liberia for more than 20 years, including the North Carolina-based charity SIM, which founded ELWA Hospital.

He said ELWA Hospital, which stands for Eternal Love Winning Africa, has changed its protocols following his illness. "Even if we haven't suspected Ebola in that patient, we're now wearing full protective gear at our facility for deliveries," he said. "When we're doing surgeries, we're now getting bleached down at the end, which we weren't doing before."

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