An Edmond couple who just returned from a trip to an Ebola-ravaged country is in voluntary quarantine for three weeks.
The Oklahoma City County Health Department deemed Shanna and Jerome Crawford "low risk" for Ebola after their return trip from Sierra Leone.
The Crawford's are co-founders and missionaries of Komeo, an organization that ministers in Sierra Leone. They have been supporting an orphanage there for several years, and are now opening a second orphanage for the youngest victims of Ebola in Sierra Leone.
“It's an eerie feeling right now, everywhere you go there are Ebola ambulances going by all over the country, all the time,” explained Jerome Crawford. “It's really getting bad in Sierra Leone,” he added.
The Crawford's were there for nearly a month, and passed out more than 30 tons of food, 350 pounds of medical supplies, 5,000 clothing items and 4,000 bibles.
“It superseded anything that I could have ever expected, it was just amazing to see the love of Christ flow through us to these remote villages,” Shanna Crawford said.
They went to some Ebola treatment facilities, but said they never came in contact with Ebola patients.
Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person and is not airborne.
“When we went to the treatment facilities, we didn't go in, we were only in what they call the green zone where we did presentations to the workers there and encouraged the workers and talked to them about Christ,” Jerome said.
The Crawford's are teaming up with a German medical organization to open a new orphanage, separate from the current orphanage they support. The new orphanage will be strictly for kids who lost their parents to Ebola and the medical organization will monitor the kids.
“These kids who are just pushed away from society,” Jerome told News 9. “Nobody will have anything to do with them, even past the 21 days, people won't have anything to do with them because they are still afraid they are going to get Ebola from them,” Jerome added.
For now, the Crawford's are under voluntary quarantine in their home. Someone from the health department comes to the house daily to check their vitals.
“We have a chart that the health department has given us and so we have an AM and PM time that we have to record our temperature and we are counting the days,” Shanna said.
The Crawford's are raising money to buy beds for the new Ebola orphanage. It will serve 120 kids and should open in the next two weeks.