Lead Doctor Who Fought Ebola in Sierra Leone Dies of the Disease

Abena Agyeman-Fisher July 30, 2014


On Tuesday afternoon, 39-year-old Dr. Sheik Umar Khan died in Sierra Leone of Ebola, after catching the deadly virus late last week, according to the Guardian.

Khan’s death is especially tragic since he was the principle doctor leading the charge against Ebola in Sierra Leone. Chief Medical Officer Brima Kargo says, “It is a big and irreparable loss to Sierra Leone as he was the only specialist the country had in viral haemorrhagic fevers.”

Called a “national hero,” Khan was lauded for treating more than 100 patients.
But last week, it was announced that Khan had succumbed to the disease, with authorities moving him to a treatment ward in the far northeastern town of Kailahun. Khan was reportedly receiving care from Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Unfortunately, Khan isn’t the only doctor to catch the disease: Two U.S. doctors are reportedly infected in Liberia and “dozens” of health workers have also died.
Last Friday, the virus spread to Nigeria, after a Liberian boarded an Asky plane with the virus. Since then the Togo-based Asky and Nigeria’s biggest airline carrier Arik Air have suspended service to and from Sierra Leone and Liberia.

In addition to announcing that they would not be taking food from Guinea, Asky told the BBC, “[That they decided to enforce the bans in order to keep] “it’s passengers and staff safe during this unsettling time.”

According to the World Health Organization, 672 people from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have died from the disease since February.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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