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Husband of missionary with Ebola returns to U.S. under quarantine

By Colleen Jenkins

WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - Three missionaries, including the husband of a missionary being treated for Ebola in Atlanta, will be temporarily quarantined in North Carolina to ensure they did not contract the deadly virus while in Liberia, their Christian group said on Monday.

SIM USA worker David Writebol and two doctors who have been caring for Ebola patients in Monrovia amid the current outbreak arrived in Charlotte by private charter Sunday night, the mission organization said in a statement.

Writebol's wife, Nancy, is one of two American relief workers with Ebola being treated at Emory University Hospital.

SIM USA said a total of five adults and six children from the group brought back from West Africa are being housed in recreational vehicles in a private area on its campus in Charlotte.

None of the missionaries have shown signs of being infected with the disease, the group said. The virus has killed nearly 1,000 people in West Africa and is the worst outbreak on record.

"They needed a break" physically and emotionally, SIM USA President Bruce Johnson said of the two doctors, who were not named.

Health officials in Charlotte said they would require, as a preventative measure, the three who returned to the United States on Sunday to remain under a 21-day quarantine that began upon their last contact with Ebola patients in Liberia. They have their temperatures checked four times a day.

Three weeks is the longest incubation period between someone getting exposed to Ebola and the onset of the infection.

Writebol will be able to visit his wife once the quarantine ends, SIM USA said.

"He looks great," Johnson said at a press briefing on Monday. "He's healthy, no symptoms."

Johnson said two U.S. citizens, a doctor and a support staff member, are still working with more than 100 Liberian staffers at SIM USA's hospital in Monrovia.

"This is not something that breaks our spirit," he said of the Ebola outbreak. "It breaks our heart."

(Editing by Susan Heavey and Eric Walsh)

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