Arlington Public News wants to offer a unique perspective on the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. We interviewed Bill Massaquoi who recently travelled from Liberia. Bill Massaquoi is the Founder and Executive Director of Rebuild Africa, a Cambridge-based organization that is fighting against Ebola by providing support to health workers and ELWA, a local mission hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. During the course of providing such help, Massaquoi had contact with Dr. Rick Sacra, the American doctor who got infected with Ebola while providing care for pregnant women. Massaquoi talks about challenges of the Ebola outbreak and some of the rigorous precautions he took before his trip to the U.S.
Massaquoi said, “When I learned about Dr. Sacra infection, I observed a 21-day-isolation period that started from the last time I had contact with him on Friday, August 29. When I left Liberia, I did not come into contact with anyone infected with the virus and I did not go back to ELWA hospital. When I arrived in the US on September 23, I observed a further 8-9-day isolation period, where I did not interact with the public just as an extra precaution. I also monitored my temperature daily. All throughout this period, I have been healthy and have not had any fever, diarrhea, vomiting or any of the symptoms that are usually associated with Ebola.
The recent death of Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnostic, and the first case of transmission to a health worker in the United States raised concerns about how prepared the hospitals are to handle Ebola. Imagine another country where there is not one, two but several cases of Ebola infection and transmission diagnosed every day. This country is Liberia. Massaquoi’s testimony helps us to comprehend the too many impacts of Ebola.