Our area's growing West African community is fighting back against the deadly Ebola virus, now responsible for more than 1,500 deaths in the region. A rally this weekend will raise money and supplies.
Beatrice Karnga-Gray is scared.
"It's hard because you're not there," she said.
She's here in Allentown while her family in Liberia mourns the loss of her aunt, another victim of the deadly Ebola virus.
"It's devastating because when one person in the family has the virus, you can't tell who's going to be the next person," said Karnga-Gray. "Sometimes it just wipes out a whole family."
Liberia is at the heart of an outbreak that's now killed more than 1,500 in Africa, according to the World Health Organization.
Health organizations fear an outbreak in the U.S.
A rally Saturday in Allentown will raise money and medical supplies.
"Right now, they need any and everything," said Karnga-Gray. "We need all these materials -- the gloves, the masks, the anti-bacterial soap, the hand sanitzers, Clorox."
The Centers for Disease Control director on the ground in Liberia said they desperately need basic supplies.
"The key right now is getting good quality care to as many patients as fast as possible," said Dr. Tom Frieden. "That means helping them with symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting, bringing their fever down, giving medication for pain and perhaps most importantly giving them rehydration, oral rehydration and whenever possible intravenous rehydration."
The Liberian community here isn't large. It's only two or three thousand people across northeastern Pennsylvania, but it is growing. Those who are here said there are many reasons the rest of us should care about what happens in their homeland."
"Right now it's Africa," said event organizer Eric Kennedy. "Who knows [who's] next? People that are travelling?"
Saturday's event takes place from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Allentown's Jordan Park, and will include traditional West African music and entertainment.