Ebola Doctor Heads to Liberia

Dr_Greg-Thomas-ReillyA professor from the University of Northern B.C. is risking his life to help out in the global battle with Ebola.

Dr. Greg Thomas-Reilly wings off Tuesday for safety training in Europe, then heads to Ground Zero in the fight against the Ebola virus – Liberia.

“I feel compelled to go,” said Thomas-Reilly, an assistant nursing professor at the Prince George-based university.

“This is something I’ve trained for my whole life.

“It would seem wrong to sit on the sidelines when you’ve spent more than 20 years preparing for situations like this.”

And this won’t be the first time he’s put his own personal safety at risk to battle terrible disease – his extensive track record already includes harrowing stints in the field preventing the spread of AIDS and turberculosis.

As a veteran of the virus wars, Thomas-Reilly gives a reasoned review of the risks – only people showing symptoms of Ebola are contagious, the camp he’ll call home in remote Yekepa will be off-limits to Ebola sufferers, and regular temperature checks will be mandatory (The classic symptom to identify Ebola sufferers is fever)

Though slow off the mark intially in Africa, Western health professionals are now doing their utmost to prevent Ebola transmission.

A recent success story – Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, believes it has turned the corner on Ebola, with no new cases recorded for three weeks, the incubation period for the virus.

While media have concentrated on high-profile cases in the U.S., Thomas-Reilly believes that’s simply human nature.

He believes people focus on what’s happening in their own back yard – and if that leads to more international recognition and awareness Thomas-Reilly believes that can only help in this time-sensitive global fight.

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