Ebola-Infected Doctor Dies at Nebraska Hospital

November 17, 2014
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

A Nebraska hospital has reported that one of its patients, a surgeon who had been working in Sierra Leone, has died from Ebola.

A Nebraska hospital has reported that one of its patients, a surgeon who had been working in Sierra Leone, has died from Ebola.

Martin Salia, MD, was experiencing kidney and respiratory failure when he was airlifted to the US hospital on November 15, 2014, according to Reuters. The 44-year-old Maryland resident had been working in West Africa in a Freetown hospital, according to HCPLive.

According to the Associated Press, the man began showing symptoms of an Ebola infection on November 6, 2014, but he initially tested negative for the disease.

Dr. Salia was serving as the chief medical officer at United Methodist Church’s Kissy Hospital in Sierra Leone when he reportedly contracted the disease. He died a little after 4 a.m. on November 17, 2014, according to HCPLive.

Dr. Salia was Nebraska Medical Center’s third Ebola patient, and he was the ninth person to be treated for the disease in the United States.

"Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren't able to save him," said Phil Smith, MD, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medical Center, in a statement.

The Omaha hospital will provide more information about Dr. Salia’s case during a news conference at noon Eastern Time.

In other news, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today added Mali to its list of Ebola-affected nations for which enhanced monitoring of the disease will be implemented via airport screening.

According to the CDC, about 15 to 20 individuals travel each day to and from Mali and the United States indirectly. Because there are no direct flights from Mali to the United States, these passengers have to stop in other countries. Most of them are US citizens trying to return home.

The CDC is adding enhanced screening in response to several confirmed Ebola cases in Mali and fears that other cases of the disease will crop up in the near future.

“CDC will continues to reassess this determination on a regular basis going forward,” the agency stated in a press release on November 17, 2014.

Monitoring in Mali will mirror the same safety measures seen in airports for travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the CDC stated. When travelers arrive in the United States from Mali, they will undergo a 21-day monitoring phase and have their symptoms checked and temperatures taken twice daily.

The CDC said it would help airlines reroute the few travelers from Mali who are not yet scheduled to land at the 5 airports that are already performing Ebola screenings on passengers arriving from West Africa.