Two Americans have contracted Ebola in Liberia in what is being labeled the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

Dr. Kent Brantly, medical director for Samaritan's Purse's Ebola care center, and Nancy Writebol, a missionary from the allied aid group Serving in Mission, both contracted the disease, but are in stable condition. The current outbreak is concentrated in three West African states: Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

"They have body aches and symptoms typical for Ebola but both are alert," said Samaritan's Purse spokeswoman Melissa Strickland. Brantly and Writebol both worked for Samaritan's Purse to help treat people with the disease.

She said both Brantly and Writebol followed all the CDC and WHO guidelines and wore full protective equipment while treating the Ebola patients.

The outbreak has led to the deaths of more than 600 people since February including Dr. Samuel Brisbane, one of Liberia's most high-profile doctors and a leader in Liberia against the disease.

Ebola is known to kill about 90 percent of those who contract the disease, but currently the outbreak has only killed 60 percent.

The Liberian government has already closed off most of the entrances into the country in order to contain the outbreak. According to the Associated Press, only three land border crossings into and out of Liberia remain open. The airport, however, is still open said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Travelers coming in and out of the country will be tested for the virus.

The outbreak is believed to have started when a man who contracted the disease brought it to Lagos by plane. This has raised concerns that travelers could spread the disease beyond Africa to other countries as well.

Dr. Lance Plyler, head of Ebola medical efforts in Liberia for Samaritan's Purse, said screening travelers doesn't guarantee that Ebola won't travel to other countries by airplane.

"Unfortunately the initial signs of Ebola imitate other diseases, like malaria or typhoid," he said.

Another issue is Ebola has a variable incubation period between two and 21 days, so it often cannot be diagnosed on the spot.

Ebola is easily transmitted and can be passed to other people through body fluids even after death. Plyler said early detection of Ebola and treatment with fluids and nutrition can be effective in combating Ebola. He also said isolating patients who show symptoms may help slow the spread of the disease.

Previously, the worst outbreak of Ebola occurred in 1976 and infected about 600 people. 

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