Friday, December 5, 2014

Most Recent Ebola Patient in US Dies

Cailin Loesch
Staff Writer

Dr. Martin Salia, the most recent American to test positive for Ebola, died Monday. Salia has become the second person to die of the virus on US soil.

Nebraska Medical Center's Rosanna Morris, who treated Salia since he returned to the States after treating patients in Sierra Leone, spoke highly of the late doctor.

According to CNN, Morris stated at a news conference in Omaha that "It was an absolute honor to care for Dr. Salia.”

Morris says that the case was one that touched her personally, speaking of the time she spent with Salia’s anguished wife.

Though Ebola has been proven treatable if caught early and fought vigorously, chances of survival are greatly diminished if treatment is delayed, as seen in Salia’s case.

According to doctors at Nebraska Medical Center, Salia was already in “extremely critical” condition when he arrived at the facility on Saturday; By then, his kidneys and respiratory system were already failing.

Nebraska health officials said that Salia might have been sicker than the patients previously cured in the United States, which limited his chance of survival. Dr. Phil Smith, director of the hospital’s biocontainment unit, described it as an "hour-by-hour situation".

A statement released by The White House offered condolences to the Salia family. "Dr. Salia dedicated his life to saving others. He viewed this vocation as his calling, telling his fellow United Methodist Church members that he pursued medicine not because he wanted to, but because he firmly believed it was God's will for him," the statement read, according to CNN.

"Dr. Salia's passing is another reminder of the human toll of this disease and of the continued imperative to tackle this epidemic on the frontlines, where Dr. Salia was engaged in his calling."

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