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Ebola Update from Nyankunde Hospital

“I will be brave Mom.”

We have had two Ebola cases at Nyankunde Hospital this past week. They arrived in the middle of the night, and it seems that they intentionally deceived the staff.  They lied about the town they came from.  They had a family member who had Ebola.  Rather than comply with the recommended observation period, they fled and came here.  One of them died in the hospital, and the other has been transferred to an Ebola Treatment Center nearby.  Both of them have tested positive.

A safe burial of the dead patient has been conducted.  Decontamination procedures have been performed.  We are hoping that vaccinations will take place in the near future.  Several of our medical staff were exposed to the patients, including a training doctor who had not been vaccinated.  Neither Lindsey or myself had any direct contact with the patients.

This has been an unsettling experience.  It is difficult to identify high-risk patients when they intentionally lie and deceive. We do not know what will happen next.  I have done a few operations, but we are trying to keep a low profile and minimize our exposure in the hospital.

Many children and family members of health workers were vaccinated
We are also facing the uncertainly which will result as other missionaries consider their own evacuation procedures.  We are not currently evacuating.  We believe that our current risk level is low (no evidence that it is replicating in the community) and we want to serve as long as we are able to. If we begin to see more cases popping up, or if we can not practice effectively, we will re-evaluate.  Our family has been immunized for Ebola which is imperative to our being able to live here now.  Emmanuel received his vaccine yesterday and has handled it very well.

It was inevitable that we would get another case sooner or later.  This disease is simply not going away anytime soon.  It has a disruptive effect on the hospital on many different levels.  We will do our very best to be cautious.  Lindsey and I both feel that God has called us to serve in this difficult place at this difficult time. We know that he can take care of us.

Please do pray for us as we live and serve at Nyankunde.

Warren, Lindsey, and Emmanuel Cooper

Giving consent to receive the Ebola vaccine


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