U.S. doctor quarantines himself at home after treating Ebola patients in Liberia

Ebola stock

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — A retired American doctor who was working with Ebola patients in West Africa returned to the United States — and put himself in quarantine.

Dr. Alan Jamison volunteered in the Liberian capital of Monrovia this month as part of an international medical group. He returned to the United States on July 25, according to Medical Teams International, the organization he worked with.

MTI declined to discuss details of how Jamison traveled back to the United States, including whether he was on a commercial flight.

Jamison, 69, said he’s had no symptoms of the deadly virus, but has been in seclusion since he returned to his hometown of Morristown, Tennessee.

He plans to be in isolation for 21 days, which is the incubation period for the disease — or the time between infection and onset of symptoms.

“My last encounter with a patient who had Ebola was on July 19,” he said. “I contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on my arrival … and informed them I had been in West Africa and my history.”

The father of three said his daughter picked him up from the airport and dropped him at home, where he’s quarantined himself and has had no contact with anyone since.

“I’m feeling normal and doing the typical things a person would do in their home,” he said. ” I have my family who can bring me food if I need anything, and they would not enter the house. They can leave items outside the home.”

Ebola spreads through contact with organs and bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, urine and other secretions of infected people.

Patients are only contagious when they show symptoms, not during the incubation period, according to the World Health Organization.

“I was not concerned that I was contagious when I left Africa, and not concerned at this time because I have no symptoms of the disease,” Jamison said.

The retired pediatrician said he was volunteering with Medical Teams International.

“It was very stressful and emotional to see these things in Liberia,” Jamison said.

Liberia is one of three nations battling an outbreak of Ebola. The World Health Organization says Ebola has been confirmed or suspected to have infected more than 1,300 people, with more than 700 deaths in West Africa this year.

So far, the disease has been confined to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. One man died in quarantine in Nigeria after leaving Liberia.

Two American medical workers infected in West Africa will receive treatment in Atlanta.

Dr. Kent Brantly arrived in Georgia on Saturday aboard a specially equipped plane and was taken to Emory University Hospital.

The plane is headed to Liberia to retrieve the other American, fellow missionary Nancy Writebol.

The treatment of the patients will be conducted under strict safety protocols, U.S. officials said.

There’s no cure for Ebola. The most common approach is to support organ functions and keep up bodily fluids such as blood and water long enough for the body to fight off the infection.

Despite the risks, Jamison said he’d return to West Africa to help combat Ebola.

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10 comments

  • Mark Stabler

    Apparently there is little or no control over the return of individuals to the United States that were in contact with those infected with Ebola. Could a pandemic occur in the United States? With the system in place it is a strong possibility.

  • Jeanie Nelson

    Dr Brantley did it the right way this guy in Tennessee should have been as considerate of other peoples lives if he has it he has exposed his whole family the airplane and everyone his family is in contact. What a lame brain

  • Anon

    Ebola is not an airborne virus. It would be difficult to contract by following standard hygiene practices in this country. The reason it spreads so fast in west Africa is because they eat animals that have the virus and they also do things like pee in their drinking water.

    • Johnny c.

      Whose side are you on? The workers in Africa has full body armor on.face mask and all. Would you let him stay in your neighborhood?

  • RM

    Does anyone actually read these articles before posting? Ebola is not contagious until symptoms become present. When this guy flew home there were no symptoms, so he was not contagious. When he was around his daughter on the way home from the airport, no symptoms therefore not contagious. He is being considerate in that he decided to quarantine himself and is keeping his family out of direct contact with him during the incubation period just as a precaution. Even though he isn’t contagious right now and may not even contract the disease he is stepping up and not taking any risk of spreading it if symptoms do come. I wish people would read these articles fully though so that they would stop bashing people when they have no reason to. So remember Ebola is only contagious once symptoms show.

    • John Klaar

      Do the research….They say it is NOT airborne??? Really? A sneeze has a 100mph speed coming out of the body and has around a 100 squre foot area. Is this not Airborne???

  • sophie

    It’s only a matter of time until we have an ebola outbreak in this country. Bringing it to the United States for the first time just put us a LOT closer to that day.

  • sinner 3

    That Ebola the real deal 90% kill rate should help out with the problems here in the USA. Thin the herd !! Just hope the assewholes that brought it in and those that tell everyone there is nothing to worry about hope it kills there dumasses first !

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