By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia’s Liberian Community is on pins and needles as their home country deals with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that has claimed more than 3,000 lives.

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This is the time of year when many Liberians living in Philadelphia begin looking forward to a trip home for the holidays, but not this year.

“People have been cancelling their flight, they have yet to get refunds,” explains Dahn Dennis.

Dennis is president of the Liberian Association of Pennsylvania. He says hundreds of Liberians in Philadelphia have cancelled their trips abroad — worried about loved ones in danger of contracting the deadly disease:

“People are still indoors, people are avoiding crowded areas.”

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Dennis says Liberians in America are well-respected in their home country, so some are calling into radio shows overseas, encouraging friends and family to take precautions:

“Telling them that Ebola is real, Ebola is deadly. Stay away from others, report instances, report illnesses.”

Dennis says they are also sending the message that help is one the way…

“To assure them that things will be better.”

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