Missionaries Returning to U.S. From Liberia to Be 'Quarantined'

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Missionaries who were working in the vicinity of Ebola patients in Liberia will be "quarantined" upon their upcoming return to the U.S., the aid organization they work with said Sunday. But medical professionals explained that "quarantined" meant the staff will be allowed to go home but asked to have limited direct contact with other people. SIM USA staff will arrive in North Carolina "within 21 days of their last exposure" with the Ebola virus, the aid organization said. Three weeks is the greatest delay between the onset of Ebola and a patient presenting symptoms of the virus, according to the Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Health Department. The returning SIM staff will be "quarantined" for the period of time that completes the 21 days from when they were last exposed to the virus, officials said.

SIM did not specify how many staff would be transported to the U.S., but said in a statement that "no returning SIM USA staff member is sick or has symptoms of Ebola infection." The missionaries were being quarantined "out of an abundance of caution, and it is important to remember that there are no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in North Carolina." said Dr. Stephen Keener, the Mecklenburg County medical director.



— Elisha Fieldstadt