OMAHA, Neb.—When Dr. Martin Salia arrives in Omaha from Sierra Leone, he’ll be the 10th person with Ebola to receive treatment in the U.S.
The surgeon was heading Saturday to the Nebraska Medical Center and was expected to arrive in Omaha at around 4 p.m. The 44-year-old Salia is a Sierra Leone citizen and a permanent resident of the U.S., where he lives in Maryland.
He had been working at Kissy United Methodist Hospital in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown when he fell ill. Last Monday, Salia tested positive for Ebola, which has killed more than 5,000 people and infected more than 14,000 in West Africa.
His wife, Isatu Salia, said Friday afternoon that she had spoken with her husband by phone earlier in the day and that he sounded weak but lucid and understood what was going on.
A look at Ebola treatment in the US by the numbers:
Nine people with Ebola have received medical treatment in the United States, many of them aid workers. The first, Dr. Kent Brantly, returned to the U.S. in early August. The latest, Dr. Craig Spencer, left a New York City hospital on Tuesday. He fell ill with Ebola after returning from West Africa.
Five of the nine people treated in the United States were — like Salia — diagnosed with Ebola in West Africa and flown to the United States. They include three doctors, a medical aid worker and man who worked as a video journalist. The other four were diagnosed in the United States.
Four U.S. hospitals have specialized treatment units for people with highly infectious diseases, including the largest one at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. The others are at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the National Institutes of Health near Washington and St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana.
Salia will be the third at the Omaha hospital; the Montana unit is the only one that hasn’t been used yet for an Ebola patient.
Two cases of Ebola have originated in the United States. Two Dallas nurses — Nina Pham and Amber Vinson — were infected while caring for a Liberian man sick with the disease. Both of the nurses have recovered.
There has been only one Ebola death in the United States. Thomas Eric Duncan became sick days after arriving in Dallas from Liberia. He went to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital but was sent home, which the hospital has acknowledged was a mistake. He returned a few days later, was diagnosed with Ebola and died Oct. 8.
From The Associated Press