Lawrence woman returns home from Liberia amid Ebola outbreak - KCTV5 News

Lawrence woman returns home from Liberia amid Ebola outbreak

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The Ebola threat in West Africa poses a threat to Peace Corps volunteers and others working there.

Three hundred volunteers are being evacuated from the region, including some from the metro area who left Liberia just before the outbreak.

Madeline Farron misses her students and the friends she made in Liberia, but she is relieved to be away from some of the world's poorest health conditions.

"Things were extremely different and difficult in Liberia. Most of the country just relies on clinics. The clinic in my village was about 80 percent traditional medicine, which means black magic or juju. So not very scientific," she said.

Her own health scare forced her to go leave the country after nearly a year there. She developed asthma and a respiratory illness that doctors worried was tuberculosis. Farron returned home just as the Ebola epidemic was beginning.

"People don't understand how it is passed along. Especially in this culture, there is a lot of stuff with handshakes and making food for each other. People are very hospitable. These are the things that make Ebola worse," Farron said.

It was difficult for her to leave the life she had formed there, and she has been in touch with other evacuated volunteers who are feeling the same mixed emotions about coming back.

"To be unexpectedly ripped out of there is really heartbreaking for everyone there," Farron said.

Now, as she's settling back into Lawrence, she is worried about the people she left behind.

"I feel guilty because everyone there is trapped and has to stay. So I really hope they're able to contain it," she said.

Farron said there are several volunteers coming back from Liberia who grew up in the metro area.

She is friends with a girl from Lee's Summit who is coming home this week.

A medical evacuation team is set to fly the second of two known American Ebola victims back to the U.S. on Tuesday.

Nancy Writebol will receive treatment at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital alongside Dr. Kent Brantly. They contracted Ebola while treating victims of the virus in Liberia.

More than 1,300 people have been stricken in three West African countries and at least 729 have died.

The Liberian government says it will cremate all corpses of Ebola victims amid fears that the disease could be spread by burials near residential areas.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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