Q&A on the News

Q: Once a person contracts and recovers from Ebola, is that person immune from this disease? I’m asking because when the American doctor and nurse recover, can they continue treating patients without worrying about getting sick again?

—Kimberly Case, Honolulu

A: A person likely would be immune to certain strains of Ebola if they survive the disease, according to doctors. Dr. Thomas Cairns still practices medicine after recovering from Ebola 42 years ago and is thought to be the first non-African survivor. He came down with what was an unknown disease while working in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1972 and was "acutely ill" for weeks, he recently told NBCNews.com.

When a large outbreak occurred in 1976, the disease was named after an African River and Cairns’ blood was found to include “a large amount of antibodies resistant to the Ebola virus,” the story states. Cairns, 71, is semiretired but continues to work at an urgent care facility near Minneapolis.

Q: Would it be possible to find out the size (height and weight) of Michael Brown and the officer who shot him?

—Paul Swanson, Dacula

A: Brown was listed as 6 feet 4 and 292 pounds in a Ferguson Police Department report of the robbery at a convenience store that occurred moments before he was killed by officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 in Missouri. Another published report stated Brown was 6-4 and 300 pounds. Wilson is said to be "tall and slim," as described by an unidentified neighbor to USA Today.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).