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US teacher told to stay away after trip to Kenya

07 November 2014, 08:00

Louisville - A Catholic school teacher in Kentucky was told to take a leave of absence for 21 days when she returned from a mission trip to Kenya, even though the country is thousands of miles from the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.

The school, St. Margaret Mary in Louisville, told religion teacher Susan Sherman to take mandatory leave when she returned Oct. 26 because several parents were worried about the Ebola outbreak, said Sherman's husband, Paul, who had also been to Kenya.

On Thursday, Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz acknowledged that was "not the right judgment."

Susan Sherman resigned last week.

Also read: Sierra Leone leader orders arrest of Ebola talk show host

"She did not know about the leave of absence until we returned" from Kenya, Paul Sherman said.

They couple spent nine days there, working with Kenya Relief, an organization that provides health care, food and water and builds churches and distributes Bibles. Susan Sherman has worked as a nurse and Paul Sherman is a retired orthopedic surgeon.

Kenya is on Africa's east coast; the Ebola outbreak has been concentrated in West Africa in countries including Liberia. Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is about 3,300 miles (5,310 kilometers) from Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that only people at the highest risk — those who've had direct contact with an Ebola patient's body fluids, for example — avoid commercial travel or large public gatherings for 21 days.

Concerns over an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. have prompted some officials to take extra precautions with Americans who have traveled to Africa. Last month, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced tougher protocols than the federal government has imposed. As a result, a nurse who had worked in Sierra Leone who said she did not have symptoms was quarantined in Newark.

- AP


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