NC-based charity houses missionaries from Africa

Aug. 04, 2014 @ 05:04 PM

CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte-based charity says it has brought back to the U.S. missionaries who served in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak but only after they had been tested and did not have the deadly disease.

The Charlotte Observer reports (http://bit.ly/1o6TVjF) that SIM said two missionaries, along with six children, returned to the U.S. on Sunday.

Before leaving Liberia, SIM said all were cleared by infectious disease medical experts to fly on commercial flights and received medical checkups upon their return.

Dr. Marcus Plescia, director of the Mecklenburg County Health Department, said he was notified Friday by state health officials that SIM would be bringing missionaries from Liberia to the county.

"Quite frankly, those returning to the U.S. need a temporary sanctuary where they can rest, relax and be loved on by other members of the SIM family," SIM USA President Bruce Johnson said. "Media interest has been high, and we ask that their privacy be protected."

A nurse working for SIM contracted Ebola and is expected back in the U.S. for treatment on Tuesday.

A specially equipped medical plane left for Liberia on Sunday to evacuate Nancy Writebol, who is to be taken to an isolation unit at Emory Hospital in Atlanta that was set up in collaboration with the nearby U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Kent Brantly, a physician working with Boone-based Samaritan's Purse, arrived at the hospital Saturday.