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August 5th, 2014
08:53 PM ET

Ebola survivor, Dr. Thomas Cairns: ‘It was a very difficult time’

In 1972, while working at a hospital in what was then known as Zaire, Dr. Thomas Cairns nicked his finger with a scalpel while performing an autopsy on a patient who had died before being properly diagnosed.

Ebola was not a known disease at the time, but Dr. Cairns contracted a virus that would soon have him fighting for his life.

"OutFront" on Tuesday evening, Cairns revealed to Erin Burnett that there was very little they could do for him at the time. Knowing what experts know now about how infectious the disease is, it's difficult for Cairns to explain how he avoided infecting his caregivers and family:

“Using that word miracle is what I would use too," he told Burnett. "I can’t account for it, other than the power of God.”

Watch the above video, and tune in every weeknight at 7P for "Erin Burnett OutFront."

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