NEW YORK (AP) — A surgeon working in West Africa’s Sierra Leone has been diagnosed with Ebola and will be flown to the United States for treatment on Saturday, according to a federal government source.
The surgeon, Dr. Martin Salia, is a citizen of Sierra Leone but also is a legal permanent U.S. resident, according to an official with knowledge of the case. The 44-year-old Salia will be treated at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. The official was not authorized to release the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The doctor will be the third Ebola patient at the Omaha hospital and the 10th person with Ebola to be treated in the U.S. The last, Dr. Craig Spencer, was released from a New York hospital on Tuesday
In a statement Thursday, the Nebraska Medical Center said it had no official confirmation that it would be treating another Ebola patient. But the hospital said a patient with Ebola in Sierra Leone will be evaluated for possible transport to the hospital. The patient would arrive Saturday afternoon, the statement said.
According to the federal official, Salia is a general surgeon who has been working at Kissy United Methodist Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He came down with symptoms of Ebola on Nov. 6 but test results were negative for the virus. He was tested again on Monday, and the results were positive. He is in stable condition at an Ebola treatment center in Freetown.
The Nebraska Medical Center is one of four U.S. hospitals with specialized treatment units for people with highly dangerous infectious diseases. It was chosen for the latest patient because workers at units at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital and the National Institutes of Health near Washington are still in a 21-day monitoring period. Those hospitals treated two Dallas nurses who were infected while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who fell ill with Ebola shortly after arriving in the U.S.