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Latest US Ebola Patient Dies

Dr. Martin Salia was being treated in Nebraska
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2014 7:42 AM CST
Latest US Ebola Patient Dies
In this April 2014 file photo provided by the United Methodist News Service, Dr. Martin Salia poses for a photo at the United Methodist Church's Kissy Hospital outside Freetown, Sierra Leone.   (AP Photo/United Methodist News Service, Mike DuBose, File)

The surgeon who arrived for treatment in Nebraska Saturday after contracting Ebola in Sierra Leone has died, according to the Omaha hospital where he was being treated in a biocontainment unit. Martin Salia's first Ebola test came back negative, the Washington Post reported last night, leading friends and colleagues in Sierra Leone to take off their protective gear and hug him. His symptoms didn't go away after a week, though, and a second test he took on Nov. 10 came back positive. "We were celebrating. If the test says you are Ebola-free, we assume you are Ebola-free," says a medical worker who cared for Salia in Africa. "Then everything fell apart."

Salia was a citizen of Sierra Leone, the AP reports, but the Post notes that his wife and two children live in Maryland and that he visited them there but "devoted most of his time to his medical work in Freetown." The doctors who cared for him there didn't seem to know that an Ebola test taken within the first three days of sickness often returns inconclusive results, the Post notes. Salia was in such poor condition upon his arrival in the States that he couldn't walk off the plane and had to be removed in an "isopod." (More Ebola stories.)

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