Omaha, Nebraska (WJZ)– A Maryland doctor arrived in Nebraska Saturday to receive treatment for Ebola. Marcus Washington reports, Surgeon Martin Salia was in the West African Nation of Sierra Leone working with patients when he became ill.
Dr. Martin Salia landed in Omaha Saturday afternoon. He then went by ambulance to the Nebraska Medical Center, where he is undergoing treatment.
The 44 year old surgeon was working at a hospital in the Ebola zone in Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown, but not with Ebola patients.
He started showing symptoms last week. A medical team in Sierra Leone says Salia was critically ill when he left for the United States.
“They say we should keep calm and everything’s going to be ok. So far, he’s responding to treatment, so i have no doubt that everything will come out successfully.” said Salia’s son.
Salia is a citizen of Sierra Leone who lives in Maryland with his wife and two children. His son says his father was aware of the risks going to work in West Africa.
” The fact that he left here and went back to his country, that made me worry a little bit, especially when he’s a doctor, and he treats patients because he doesn’t know who has the virus” , said Salia’s son.
Salia explained during an April interview why he returned to help to his countrymen.
“I took this job not because I wanted to, but I firmly believe that it was a calling and god wanted me to do it.”, said Salia.
Nebraska Medical Center is one of four U.S. hospitals with special units to treat people with highly infectious diseases. Salia is the third Ebola patient to undergo treatment there. Eight of the nine Ebola patients treated so far in the U.S. have survived.
The State Department says Salia’s wife requested his evacuation to the United States. She has agreed to reimburse the U.S. government for any expenses associated with bringing her husband back for treatment.
Sierra Leone is one of the three West Africa nations hit hard by the Ebola epidemic this year.
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