10th Sierra Leonean Doctor Dies From Ebola

Sunday, December 7, 2014
By Paul Martin

Dec 7, 2014

Another Sierra Leonean doctor has died from Ebola, the 10th to succumb to the disease, in what the country’s chief medical officer on Sunday called a shocking trend.

Dr. Aiah Solomon Konoyeima died Saturday, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brima Kargbo. His death came a day after two other doctors died from Ebola.

Konoyeima worked at a children’s hospital in the capital and was treated at the Hastings Ebola Treatment Center.

Because Ebola is transmitted through the bodily fluids of the sick and dead, it is sometimes called the “caretakers’ disease.” Hundreds of health workers have been infected in this outbreak, which overall has sickened more than 17,500 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Of those, about 6,200 have died.

In all, 11 Sierra Leonean doctors have been infected; only one has survived. That’s much higher than an overall fatality rate of 60 percent for hospitalized patients in the three most affected countries, according to the World Health Organization.

Trying to explain why so many doctors have died, Kargbo said doctors may initially try to manage their symptoms at home and seek treatment later than other patients.

He described as “shocking the continuing death rate among Sierra Leonean frontline medical doctors.”

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