Mass. Doctor Heading to Africa to Help Fight Ebola
Infectious disease expert Dr. Nahid Bhadelia of Boston Medical Center and Boston University will treat people suffering from deadly virus
Dr. Nahid Bhadelia is taking her knowledge about infectious disease to Sierra Leone, where she'll be in the trenches, treating people who are suffering from the deadly Ebola virus.
"My parents are scared, but they know that this is something that I've wanted to do since - as long as I can remember," she said.
Bhadelia is with Boston Medical Center and Boston University's National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratories. She'll be doing the same kind of work as Dr. Kent Brantly, who was infected with Ebola in Liberia and returned to the United States Saturday, walking on his own from the ambulance into Emory University.
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"I was so glad, not only to see him walking, but the fact that he's here and he's going to get the advanced supportive care that I think he should be getting," said Bhadelia.
Infected American relief worker Nancy Writebol will be coming home Tuesday, as well. The cases are raising worries in the U.S. about a potential outbreak.
Hospitals like Massachusetts General say they are prepared. Still, Dr. Paul Biddinger says the chances of an Ebola outbreak here are small, given that it's spread only by contact.
"There is a chance that this could spread because of how globalization of air travel and how fast people move around the globe is changing, but any one person is at very, very low risk," said Biddinger.
That's not be the case for Bhadelia. She'll be working in a country where they've declared a state of emergency and troops have been called in to quarantine victims.
But the doctor is getting her shots and reviewing her safety protocols, convinced even more than ever that she needs go.
"We're going there to contain that epidemic, but we're also doing it because by containing it there, we're keeping folks on this side safe," Bhadelia said.