The Massachusetts doctor who survived Ebola last fall said today he is heading back to West Africa, where he contracted the disease.
Dr Rick Sacra, a 62-year-old family doctor who lives in Holden and grew up in Wayland, contracted Ebola while doing missionary work in Liberia last September. He now plans to return to that country later this week.
He was discharged from Nebraska Medical Center on Sept. 26 after undergoing treatment for the disease, which has killed more than 8,000 in West Africa in recent months.
Doctors have told Sacra he is now immune to the disease. He plans to make the flight to Liberia on Jan. 15. Once there, he will continue his medical missionary work.
“The thing I was afraid of last time I’ve had it. Thank God I’m through it,” Sacra said at a press conference Monday morning.
Sacra will not necessarily be working in an Ebola medical unit in Liberia, but might be called on to evaluate tricky situations because of his immunity, according to UMass Medical School, where Sacra is a professor.
Sacra plans to treat families who have malaria. He is expected to be there for a month. For years, Sacra has traveled to Liberia with SIMUSA, a North Carolina-based missionary nonprofit.