Penn State student leaving West Africa amid Ebola outbreak



PITTSBURGH - A Penn State student from Pittsburgh is among those who are leaving West Africa following an outbreak of the Ebola virus.

Jerrel Gilliam, 22, was on a humanitarian mission in Sierra Leone when he was told he had to get out of the country.

Gilliam said anyone leaving the country has to fill out a form that asks if they’ve shown any symptoms of Ebola in recent weeks.

“It's a lot different than whenever I came here around two, 2 1/2 months ago, and there's a lot of breathing masks and gloves, and everyone is being very careful about the situation,” said Gilliam.

The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person and begins with symptoms that include fever, sore throat, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms can escalate to vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney and liver problems. In some cases, patients bleed both internally and externally.

Three West Africa countries, including Sierra Leone and Liberia, have been impacted by the Ebola outbreak.

An American doctor infected with the virus while in Liberia arrived back in the United States Saturday via a specially equipped plane. He was taken to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, which has one of the most sophisticated isolation rooms in the country.

A second American aid worker infected with the virus is expected to arrive within a couple days at Emory University.

The two seriously ill Americans worked for North Carolina-based Samaritan's Purse and U.S.-based SIM at a Liberian hospital that treated Ebola patients.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts it will take at least three months to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.