Doctor Martin Salia, the 44 year old physician from Sierra Leone who was returned to the U.S. to be treated for ebola, has succumbed to the disease. Dr Salia was a native of Sierra Leone who was married to a U.S. citizen and had permanent resident status in the U.S. He divided his time between his family in the U.S. and his work at the Kissy United Methodist Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Dr. Salia was a surgeon who worked with a variety of patients, not just ebola patients.
Doctor Salia was already in an advanced state of illness before being brought to the U.S. for treatment. One of the reasons he had reached the advanced state of illness was that he had tested negative for ebola when he first became ill. Out of ten patients who have been treated for ebola in the U.S. during the current outbreak, only two have died. Both did not begin therapy until their disease had become more advanced according to Sergio Lins Andrade.
When Dr Salia arrived at the hospital in Nebraska he was gravely ill, suffering from total kidney failure. Because he had not been known to be in close contact with an ebola patient for more than 21 days and tested negative for the virus when he first became ill, he was initially treated for malaria in Freetown. Malaria is a more common disease in West Africa. Often the blood test for the ebola virus is negative in the early stages of the disease, when treatment is more likely to be effective.