Ebola virus outbreak reaches record levels, West Palm Beach missionary group reflects on recent trip

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- - West Palm Beach missionary Kim Kerr considers West Africa like a second home.

Her work to help those in need is being put on hold right now as the deadly Ebola virus spreads in the area in what is considered by scientists as the worst outbreak in history.

At least 1,323 people have been reported to be infected with the deadly disease and at least 729 have died. Two of those infected are reportedly Americans.
    
"We had people telling us this is probably not the right time to be going to West Africa but we chose to go anyway," said Kerr.

Her team with Women in the Window International just returned from West Africa. They likely could not return to help even if they wanted as the Centers for Disease Control just issued a warning against traveling due to the current outbreak.

"You do feel very helpless from a human perspective to know there's nothing we can do to overcome that," said Kerr.

It is a virus with a 60%-to-90% fatality rate with no treatment according to infectious disease physician Dr. Larry Bush.

"Just the fact that it has moved so far west in Africa than it has ever been diagnosed before is concerning. It's crossing countries," said Dr. Bush.

All it takes is just one person to hop on a plane headed for the U.S. for Ebola to spread locally said Dr. Bush.

"Is it possible? For sure," said Dr. Bush. "Is it likely? Let's hope not."

The reality of the virus will not stop Kerr and the efforts by her team to aid those in West Africa who need their help now more than ever.

"Those people are like family to us. So would you not go see your mom or dad because there's a disease outbreak? Of course you would go and we will go again," said Kerr.

Dr. Bush said Americans really do not have anything to be alarmed about in regards to Ebola. But he does think folks should stay informed on what is happening because the situation can change.


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