How a student veteran overcame the odds of treating patients in Liberia, Despite the Ebola Outbreak

Antonio J Webb, M.D., gave his thoughts on the virus and experiences while there


In early June 2014, the city’s first patient with Ebola arrived at Liberia’s county hospital, Redemption Hospital in Monrovia. As tensions grew around the city of Monrovia, hospital administrators at John F. Kennedy hospital (also in Liberia and where I spent most of my time), began to devise plans for handling patients with suspected Ebola.

While there, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) came to Liberia and gave us lectures about the deadly Ebola virus. They discussed prevention of spreading and what our plans would be in the event of a potential outbreak.

Before that moment, there were no clear plans for what to do if a patient presented with symptoms of Ebola. No plans for isolation. No plans for treatment. To make matters worse, the scarcity of gowns, gloves, and personal protective attire presented a big problem.

At that point, we never imagined that Ebola would become so deadly and devastate a country so quickly.

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