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Americans Struck With Deadly Ebola Virus

Two Americans working in Liberia have contracted the Ebola virus, NBC reports.

Dr. Kent Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol are both currently being treated for the virus.

Both Brantly and Writebol are working for charitable groups trying to fight Ebola in the country. They wore layers of protection, including masks, but had to deal with patients who vomit and bleed, two common symptoms of the disease.

The Ebola virus is transmitted through body fluids, and occurs in Central and West Africa, in areas near tropical rainforests. There is no specific vaccine available to those who contract the disease.

This Ebola outbreak marks the worst ever. The Liberian president is attempting to control the situation by closing the border to isolate the virus. “All borders of Liberia will be closed with the exception of major entry points,” said Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Currently, Brantly and Writebol are suffering from symptoms, but remain alert and in stable condition. Although the disease has a fatality rate of 90 percent, the number lowers to 60 percent when discovered early on.

The Ebola virus has killed 660 people and infected over 1,000. The virus is spreading to neighboring countries such as Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Just last week, a man died from the virus shortly after departing a plane. It is not clear how many people he may have spread the virus to, if any.

“We are working closely with CDC and WHO to investigate. It is just an incredibly contagious disease,” said Melissa Strickland, a spokeswoman for Samaritan’s Purse, the organization for which Dr. Brantly is a medical director.

Both Brantly and Writebol are constantly checked on, and seem to be healthy.