CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston infectious disease specialist says there is no need to panic over the outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa.
Two Americans have been infected with the potentially-lethal virus while working in Liberia as part of a humanitarian mission for a Charlotte-based ministry.
"You can recover, that's the good news. The bad news is recovery rate is less than 50 percent. Kill rate is 60 to 90 percent," Charleston infectious disease specialist Dr. Robert Ball said.
The organization regularly makes mission trips to Africa to set up clean drinking water systems.
"I think it's a spooky disease. It's not time for anybody to panicky. It's being monitored quite closely," Dr. Jeffery Deal said.
He says on each mission the disease was on his mind.
"If you ask any of the people with me, their instructions were you see somebody with a catastrophic onset of a fever and unexplained bleeding, the first thing they're supposed to do is step away from that patient."
Dr. Ball says the disease is spread through blood or bodily fluids.
There is no cure or vaccine or Ebola.
"You can recover, that's the good news. The bad news is recovery rate is less than 50 percent. Kill rate is 60 to 90 percent," Ball said.
"We're hearing about this now because number one, it's the largest outbreak ever known to the world. Number two, it has crossed all borders thanks to airplanes."
Dr. Deal says his missionaries are not in the areas affected by the Ebola outbreak, so those folks are not being evacuated.
But he believes future missions could be affected.
"It's certainly going to have a psychological effect on missions. People will be afraid of the disease."