Home | News | Dr. Martin Salia, 44, Who Contracted Ebola While Working In Sierra Leone, Has Died In The US

Dr. Martin Salia, 44, Who Contracted Ebola While Working In Sierra Leone, Has Died In The US

Dr. Martin Salia, 44, Who Contracted Ebola While Working In Sierra Leone, Has Died In The US Dr. Martin Salia,
Dr. Martin Salia, who contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone, has died after being treated for the disease in Nebraska 

The surgeon who was flown back to the United States this weekend after contracting Ebola working in Sierra Leone has died, the University of Nebraska Medical Center announced. 

Dr Martin Salia was diagnosed with the deadly virus on Monday and arrived in Omaha for treatment on Saturday, where doctors described the 44-year-old as 'extremely ill'.

By Sunday the Sierra Leone native's condition had deteriorated to extremely critical. The center had previously cured two other patients of Ebola this fall.

Ebola has killed more than 5,000 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leona. Of the 10 people treated for the virus in the U.S., all but one has recovered. 

Salia had been working as a general surgeon at Kissy United Methodist Hospital in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown. It's not clear whether he was involved in the care of Ebola patients. 

Kissy is not in an Ebola treatment unit, but Salia worked in at least three other facilities, United Methodist News said, citing health ministry sources.

Salia, was born in Sierra Leone but was a permanent resident of the United States and lived in Maryland. He first showed symptoms of the virus on November 6, but tested negative at the time. He eventually tested positive on Monday.

The U.S. State Department said it helped facilitate the transfer of Salia; the U.S. Embassy in Freetown said he paid for the expensive evacuation. The travel costs and care of other Ebola patients flown to the U.S. have been covered by the groups they worked for in West Africa.

Scroll down for video 

Touch down: Health care workers in protective suits helped transport Dr Salia from a medevac plane to an ambulance on Saturday, after he arrived in the U.S. for treatment at University of Nebraska Medical Center. Just two days later, he has died from the disease

Touch down: Health care workers in protective suits helped transport Dr Salia from a medevac plane to an ambulance on Saturday, after he arrived in the U.S. for treatment at University of Nebraska Medical Center. Just two days later, he has died from the disease

Dr Salia (second right) is survived by his wife Isatu Salia(second left) and two sons. The surgeon was born in Sierre Leone, but was a permanent resident of the U.S. who lived in Maryland with his family

Dr Salia (second right) is survived by his wife Isatu Salia(second left) and two sons. The surgeon was born in Sierre Leone, but was a permanent resident of the U.S. who lived in Maryland with his family

Salia's wife, Isatu Salia, said in a telephone interview that when she spoke to her husband early Friday his voice sounded weak and shaky. But he told her 'I love you' in a steady voice, she said.

The couple had two children together, ages 12 and 20.   

Nebraska Medical Center spokesman Taylor Wilson said members of Salia's family were not at the hospital on Saturday, but were expected to arrive 'in the near future.' It's not clear if his wife and children were by his side when he died. 

Sierra Leone is one of the three West African nations hit hardest by the Ebola epidemic this year - the largest in history. Five other doctors in Sierra Leone have contracted Ebola, and all have died.

Dr. Salia was the third Ebola patient to be treated by the UNMC, one of a handful of medical facilities in the United States specially designated to treat Ebola patients. 

Both of the previous patients, Dr Rick Sacra and NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, survived. 

There are currently no other cases of Ebola in the United States, where nine people have been treated for the killer virus. 

Dr. Salia was the tenth. Only one other - Liberian-born Thomas Eric Duncan - has died from the disease on U.S. soil. 

Despite some hopeful signs - Liberia has lifted its state of emergency and the DR Congo announced the end of its own, unrelated, outbreak of Ebola - the recent deaths of three people in Mali have fueled fears of a new African hotspot.

Wife: Isatu Salia, seen here with her husband, described him as 'caring' and 'hardworking'

Wife: Isatu Salia, seen here with her husband, described him as 'caring' and 'hardworking'

Sons: The medic, who has at least two sons, including Hinwaii (left) and Maada (right), came down with symptoms of Ebola on November 6 and tested positive for Ebola last results on November 10

Sons: The medic, who has at least two sons, including Hinwaii (left) and Maada (right), came down with symptoms of Ebola on November 6 and tested positive for Ebola last results on November 10

Scene: The UNMC in Omaha is one of a handful of medical facilities in the United States specially designated to treat Ebola patients

Scene: The UNMC in Omaha is one of a handful of medical facilities in the United States specially designated to treat Ebola patients

There is no known cure for Ebola, one of the deadliest known pathogens, but trials for several possible treatments were announced this week in West Africa and Canada. 

The disease is spread through contact with bodily fluids.

Salia received his surgical training from a group called the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons, which seeks to train African doctors on a level comparable to training they would receive in the U.S., said Richard Toupin, of Auburn, Indiana, a fellow medical missionary.

'He is one of the best-trained surgeons in his country,' Toupin said. 'He is a very competent surgeon.'

Bruce Steffes, executive director of PAACS, said Salia graduated from the surgical training program in 2008. The training includes a requirement to practice in Africa for four years after completion. 

As a result, Steffes said, Salia was free to practice anywhere he wanted, but elected to stay in Sierra Leone, where the need for surgeons is immense.

'People like Martin are just absolutely dedicated, highly trained... and doing their best in absolutely horrifying conditions,' Steffes said. 

Epidemic:
 Health workers prepare to carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, as the country tried to combat the Ebola virus disease outbreak
 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Dr Salia was working in his native Sierra Leone when he contracted the virus 

Epidemic: Health workers prepare to carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, as the country tried to combat the Ebola virus disease outbreak Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Dr Salia was working in his native Sierra Leone when he contracted the virus 

Health workers from the Sierra Leone's Red Cross Society Burial Team 7 place a body in a grave at King Tom cemetary in Freetown on November 12, 2014. Dr. Martin Salia arrived in the U.S. from Freetown on Saturday

Health workers from the Sierra Leone's Red Cross Society Burial Team 7 place a body in a grave at King Tom cemetary in Freetown on November 12, 2014. Dr. Martin Salia arrived in the U.S. from Freetown on Saturday

 

Most Watched Videos

Miss Cucumber 2017

September 29, 2017

Post No Bills

October 19, 2017

Queen of My Heart

October 19, 2017

Most Read News

Best Of The Web

MOST POPULAR

Recent Comments

Most Popular Posts

>
News - Articles
Ghana Articles News
Go Up!