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Ebola doctor heading to US unit


An Ebola drill at Nebraska Medical Centre in Omaha. (AP)

An Ebola drill at Nebraska Medical Centre in Omaha. (AP)

An Ebola drill at Nebraska Medical Centre in Omaha. (AP)

A surgeon working in Sierra Leone has been diagnosed with Ebola and will be flown to the US for treatment, according to a federal government source.

Martin Salia is a citizen of Sierra Leone but is also a legal permanent US resident, according to an official. The 44-year-old doctor will be treated at Nebraska Medical Centre in Omaha.

He will be the third Ebola patient at the Omaha hospital and the 10th person with Ebola to be treated in the US. The last, Craig Spencer, was released from a New York hospital on Tuesday.

Nebraska Medical Centre 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 will arrive on Saturday afternoon, the statement said.

According to the federal official, Dr 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 November 6 but test results were negative for the virus. He was tested again on Monday and the results were positive. He is in a stable condition at an Ebola treatment centre in Freetown.

Nebraska Medical Centre is one of four US hospitals with specialised treatment units for people with highly dangerous infectious diseases. It was chosen for the latest patient because workers 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 US, and is the only patient to die from Ebola in the US.