An Ebola infected surgeon from Sierra Leone is likely to be flown to The Nebraska Medical Center for treatment by the end of this week, said a person in the federal government familiar with the developments on the case. The 44 year old surgeon, Dr. Martin Salia, is a Sierra Leone national but a permanent legal resident of the United States. He is married to a U.S. citizen and the couple lives in Maryland with their children. The doctor will be the 10th person with Ebola to be treated in the US and the third Ebola patient at the Omaha hospital. The last, Dr. Craig Spencer, was released from a New York hospital few days back after treatment.
Sierra Leone is one of the three worst affected West African countries presently under the grip of the deadly virus. More than 5,000 lives have been lost to this highly infectious virus this year, most of them in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Salia is a general surgeon who was working with a hospital in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown. He went for an Ebola test on November 6 on seeing the first symptoms of Ebola but tested negative for the virus. The second test conducted on Monday confirmed that he was indeed infected. Though he has tested positive, his condition is said to be stable.
The State Department said in a statement late Thursday, that along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it had been in touch with the Maryland wife of an unidentified Ebola patient about transferring him to the Nebraska Medical Center for care.
“The members of the crew will determine whether the patient is stable enough for transport — if he is, he would arrive in Omaha sometime Saturday afternoon,” said Taylor Wilson, the hospital spokesman said in a written statement. “We will update you on the status of this patient as more information becomes available.”
The survival rate among Ebola infected patients has so far been significantly higher in case of thoise who received treatment in the USA. Doctors at the Nebraska Medical Center have already treated two American Ebola patients successfully, Dr. Rick Sacra and Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman. Both of the earlier patients had got infected in Liberia.