A physician at the helm of Sierra Leone's efforts to contain and control the Ebola epidemic has just been diagnosed with the virus, according to reports from Reuters and the BBC.
Sheik Umar Khan, a virologist, has treated more than 100 patients with the deadly disease and was admitted earlier this week to a high containment treatment facility, according to a statement released on Tuesday by the government. A source inside the ward told Reuters that the doctor is receiving treatment, though no details were given on his current state of health.
Health Minister Miatta Kargbo called Khan a "national hero" and said she would "do anything and everything in my power to ensure he survives," Reuters reports.
Khan, 39 years old, is one of many health care workers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who has contracted the disease as a result of firsthand involvement. Though health workers in the region are required to be thoroughly covered in protective gear, many who are tending to the ill have contracted the virus. A BBC reporter at a clinic in Freetown in Sierra Leone said dozens of nurses at a government hospital went on strike on Monday after three health care works died from suspected Ebola infections.insufficient borders that separate the three countries.
Experts say this current outbreak is the largest in the history. In April, Michel Van Herp, an epidemiologist for the aid group, Doctors Without Borders, predicted the Ebola outbreak would develop into an epidemic on an unprecedented scale.
There currently is no cure or vaccine for Ebola, which has less than a 10 percent survival rate.