B.C. doctor OK, not in quarantine, after Ebola aid trip to Liberia

Health workers take blood samples for Ebola virus testing at a screening tent in the local...

Health workers take blood samples for Ebola virus testing at a screening tent in the local government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 30, 2014. (REUTERS/Tommy Trenchard)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:17 PM ET

Contrary to reports Tuesday, a Victoria, B.C., doctor didn't put himself under quarantine after returning from Liberia where he was helping Ebola patients.

Dr. Azaria Marthyman, 48, returned home July 26 from the West African country, where for much of July he was part of a team of volunteers with Christian relief group Samaritan's Purse.

"He planned to return to work on Monday morning, seeing patients. But over the weekend, because his time in Liberia had been really draining in terms of the heat, the workload, etc., he decided to call his office, ask them to cancel his appointments for the coming week, and stay home to relax with his family," Samaritan's Purse Canada spokesman Jeff Adams told QMI Agency in an e-mail.

"Azaria has continued to be healthy since then. He is showing no symptoms whatsoever," Adams said, adding, "If he was in an actual 'quarantine,' he certainly wouldn't have stayed home with his wife and children."

Two other personnel, both American, tested positive for the virus and were fighting for their lives Tuesday.

Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol were part of a team in Liberia from two North Carolina-based Christian relief groups, Samaritan's Purse and SIM. The groups plan to evacuate nonessential personnel from Liberia as Ebola cases there mount.

There is no known cure for the highly contagious disease, which has killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since February. The fatality rate of the current Ebola outbreak, the worst on record, is about 60%, health officials said.

Writebol, who helped disinfect the protective suits worn by medical personnel such as Brantly inside the isolation ward at a care centre in Monrovia, Liberia, is "fighting through" the disease, her son said on Wednesday.

Jeremy Writebol told NBC's "Today" show that his mother is moving around on her own and receiving a lot of fluids as she is treated in isolation.

"She's working real hard to get through this," her son said.

Ken Isaacs, a vice president at Samaritan's Purse, told CNN it was believed that a local staff member had come to work already infected with the virus. That staffer has since died.

"We think it was in the scrub-down area where the disease was passed to both Nancy and Kent," Isaacs said.

- with files from Reuters


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