Trip to Africa postponed for philanthropist over Ebola outbreak - FOX Carolina 21

Trip to Africa postponed for Greer philanthropist over Ebola outbreak

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Ronald Bergeron in Africa (Courtesy: Ronald Bergeron) Ronald Bergeron in Africa (Courtesy: Ronald Bergeron)
GREER, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -

A deadly virus outbreak in west Africa has grounded a Greer philanthropist and his team from traveling there.

The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea so far has claimed nearly 700 lives in the region, making it the deadliest outbreak of the virus in history.

"In both Sierra Leone and Liberia, we have drilling crews that work for Water of Life, so I'm concerned for our people over there that are doing the work," said Roland Bergeron, president of Water for Life in Greer, an organization that works to bring clean drinking water to the region.

Bergeron said he has traveled there more than 40 times, and nothing until now has stopped him.

He said the team decided to postpone the trip until the end of August out of an abundance of caution. A missionary from Charlotte is one of two Americans in Liberia that are infected.

The Peace Corps evacuated hundreds of volunteers from the three west African countries in the wake of the outbreak.

Doctors said the virus has an 80 to 90 percent fatality rate and that it takes nearly a week to manifest itself symptomatically.

"In that 5 to 7 day incubation period, the patient could be carrying the virus but not really transmitting the virus so it is possible it could get on a plane and fly over here," said Dr. Jeremy Byrd, a doctor with Heritage Pediatrics and Internal Medicine.

Byrd said people often at the highest rick of contracting the virus are healthcare professionals.

Health officials doubt the possibility of an outbreak in the United States.

Related stories on the Ebola outbreak:

Copyright 2014 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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