Holden man is third American doctor infected with Ebola - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Holden man is third American doctor infected with Ebola

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Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, is third American infected with Ebola virus. Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, is third American infected with Ebola virus.
UNDATED (WHDH) - A third American who had been working in Liberia has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus.

Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, of Worcester and member of the SIMS Clinic Organization is the third American doctor infected with Ebola.

When he is moved to the United States for treatment, he would go to one of four centers equipped for Ebola: Atlanta, New York City, Minnesota or California.

"Perfect example of a self-sacrificing Christian doctor, who cares deeply about the people in Liberia," said Doug Sacra, brother of the infected doctor.

Doug says that the family found out about the diagnosis on Monday. They don't know how he contracted it specifically.

Sacra is a general practitioner and was in Liberia helping women to deliver children. SIM President Bruce Johnson said Sacra wasn't caring for Ebola patients but was delivering babies in the SIM hospital's obstetrics unit.

When a fellow SIM worker and another missionary doctor became sick, Sacra called and said, "I'm ready to go," Johnson said.

SIM needed doctors to take care of patients not infected with Ebola, said Will Elthick, director of SIM's operations in Liberia. Sacra followed all protocols to protect himself from Ebola, Elthick said, and he's in good spirits and able to email.
  
He says it's not known whether Sacra will return to the U.S. for treatment.

Dr. Kent Brantly, the first Ebola patient to arrive at Emory, said he knew the latest American to fall ill quite well and has prayed for him and his family, whom he said were "holding up pretty well." Brantly worked for Samaritan's Purse, a missionary group that partners with SIM in Liberia. Both are based in North Carolina.

He had been back and forth between Liberia and the United States since 1995 and had been in the African country since August. He has three children that are currently in Holden.

The World Health Organization announced Wednesday that Ebola's death toll in West Africa has shot up to 1,900 -- 400 more than the previous count. The virus is spread by direct contact with blood or bodily fluids, not through casual contact.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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