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Third American with Ebola identified as Boston missionary doctor

A missionary doctor has become the third American to be diagnosed with Ebola, according to a Fox News report on Tuesday. The man, named Rick Sacra, is from Boston and according to his brother, was doing his life’s work in Liberia when he contracted the disease.

Boston Globe reports the doctor’s brother, Doug, saying Sacra had been working in Liberia since 1951. He had spent the last year traveling between Liberia and North America to see his family. However, he returned to the African country to continue his work as a missionary doctor at the beginning of August.

When he fell ill, Sacra was not working directly with Ebola patients but was instead working in the general area of the hospital that is located far away from the Ebola wing, according to Dr. Jim Deal, who also is working in Liberia. Deal says that Sacra was not wearing his protective clothing issued by Doctors Without Borders. The garments, which include boots, a hood, apron, big gloves and goggles did make it difficult to work in the general area of the hospital, which has no air conditioning.

Though Fox notes that the Ebola treatment area is constantly being sanitized, some patients who are in denial about their symptoms will enter the hospital for general treatment. According to Deal, Sacra came into contact with one such patient and told staff she was displaying Ebola symptoms and was highly suspicious. When he began to exhibit the symptoms, he took himself to the Ebola unit in the hospital and isolated himself.

His mission, originally called Sudan Interior Mission when founded, has stated that Sacra is doing well. However, they are not sure whether or not he will return to the United States for treatment as the other two infected Americans have.