Brooklyn Park looks to erase fear of Ebola spreading - KMSP-TV

Brooklyn Park looks to erase fear of Ebola spreading

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In this latest Ebola outbreak, more than 1,300 people were infected with the virus and 729 have died, including a man from Minnesota. The northwest metro is home to a large Liberian community, and in turn, the city of Brooklyn Park called a town hall meeting Sunday night to address concerns and hopefully, erase fears about it spreading.

Decontee Sawyer lost her husband Patrick to the Ebola virus a little over a week ago – the first American victim of the outbreak in West Africa. He was working in Liberia and planning to visit his wife and three children in Coon Rapids.

“I'm done crying, I’ll probably pick up crying another time. But right now it's time to focus, it's time to help the people,” Sawyer said. Now, Sawyer is supporting Brooklyn Park city leaders and their efforts to educate the community about the virus.

Plenty of myths regarding the spreading of the virus have circulated around the community, and Brooklyn Park Fire Chief Ken Prillaman is more concerned about misinformation. He says city leaders are trying to answer all questions and clarify misconceptions.

“In all the published information, that the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health has put out, we don't believe there is much of a risk,” Prillaman said.

At TMZ Radio International, founder Hussein Fitergar says he's more concerned about the stigma and marginalization his community likely faces.

“For people to be avoiding you for something you know you don't have, I think it's a big deal,” he said.

Fitergar says his Internet radio and social media presence reaches nearly 30,000 Liberians in the Twin Cities and is hoping to change this perception. As for Sawyer, she is now working towards raising money and buying medical supplies to help others back in Liberia.

“Let no other family go through this. No other mother should have to tell her 5-year-old that her daddy's in heaven,” Sawyer said.

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