October 3rd, 2014
09:46 AM ET

Widow of Ebola Victim: 'Ebola is Everyone's Problem'

The battle against Ebola hit home for one American woman in Minnesota when her husband became the first American victim of the disease.

Patrick Sawyer was diagnosed with Ebola after traveling to Nigeria from Liberia for a business conference. He died just days later, leaving behind Kofa and their three children.

Founder and Executive Director of the Kofa Foundation, and the widow of the late Patrick Sawyer, Decontee Kofa has now made it her mission to help survivors and family members of those battling infections disease because she believes that “Ebola is everyone’s problem. It's all of our problems.’

She feels that emergence of an Ebola patient in Dallas, Texas, has made that more apparent.

“The thing is that this is a wake-up call that Ebola can come here at any time,” she tells CNN's Michaela Pereira.

But Kofa urges calm that there is still no reason to panic here because the health care system in the United States is better equipped to handle it than that in West Africa.

She also mentions the fear of catching it in America is especially being directed at the Liberian American community and cautions against that.

The Liberian American community is afraid of being stigmatized, she said. “They don't want to be ostracized because they're Liberians.”

Sympathizing with the family of the patient being quarantined in Dallas, Kofa shared a message on “New Day” saying, “You’re not alone ... Stay calm.  Listen to the instructions. Don't leave your home. We're praying with you. And we hope that all is well.”


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October 3rd, 2014
06:23 AM ET

"Morning Minute" with Michaela Pereira – October 3, 2014

Need to get today's top stories on-the-go? Watch Michaela Pereira's morning minute now!

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Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Friday, October 3, 2014
Thomas Eric Duncan, who brought Ebola to Dallas, is now in serious condition at a hospital.
October 3rd, 2014
04:07 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Friday, October 3, 2014

One hundred people may have been exposed to the Dallas Ebola patient. Turkey joins the fight against ISIS. And hackers gather information on 80 million JPMorgan accounts.

It's Friday, and here are the "5 things to know for your New Day."


Keeping the lid on: Texas health officials are questioning up to 100 people who may have had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the man diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas. The Liberian national is in serious condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. So far, no one who had contact with Duncan has shown any indication of having contracted Ebola, authorities said. Duncan's girlfriend, who wants to be identified only as Louise, is quarantined with one of her children who is younger than 13 and two nephews in their 20s. The four of them were in the apartment when Duncan became ill. A hazmat team has been hired to clean the apartment and dispose of contaminated materials.

More on this story.