Ebola Virus Hits Close To Home For Area Epidemiologist

FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) – One local infectious disease expert says the spread of the Ebola virus is personal to her.

Harolyn Baker is a native of Liberia and tells WWJ’s Stephanie Davis she is active with the Liberian Association of Michigan.

As an epidemiologist she is constantly checking the CDC and other sources for the latest information regarding the outbreak of the virus.

“I know of a colleague – who was a physician in Liberia – we have lost almost five physicians to this virus, so we know that the health care community; the nurses, the caretakers, the caregiver, the physicians are the ones at highest risk.”

She says watching the Ebola virus spread in West Africa has been terrifying.

“This disease has been increasing almost five times each month,” said Baker. “As of March, there were 49 cases … then as August 31, there were 3,000 cases.”

She says while American’s may not necessarily be worried about an Ebola outbreak here — she says there should still be SOME level of concern.

“People need financial resources, they need food, they need water – they need other … resources that will compliment the medical goods that are going there,” said Baker.

Baker moved here with family when she was 12-years-old and has not returned to her native country since that time. She has delayed a trip due to the outbreak in that country.

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