Surgeon With Ebola Has Died

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -
Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the Nebraska Biocontainment Care Unit, answers a question during a news conference in Omaha, Neb., Monday, on the death of Dr. Martin Salia. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the Nebraska Biocontainment Care Unit, answers a question during a news conference in Omaha, Neb., Monday, on the death of Dr. Martin Salia. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

A surgeon who contracted Ebola in his native Sierra Leone received aggressive treatment at a Nebraska hospital over the weekend but died Monday morning.

Dr. Martin Salia’s death is a reminder of how deadly the Ebola virus is and how important it is to receive treatment early, said Dr. Jeff Gold, chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

“In the very advanced stages, even the modern techniques we have at our disposal are not enough to help these patients once they reach a critical threshold,” Gold said at a news conference.

Salia, 44, was diagnosed with the virus Nov. 6. By the time he arrived at the Omaha hospital on Saturday, he was in extremely critical condition with no kidney function and severe respiratory problems.

“We used every possible treatment available to give Dr. Salia every possible opportunity for survival,” said Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the biocontainment unit. “As we have learned, early treatment with these patients is essential. In Dr. Salia’s case, his disease was already extremely advanced by the time he came here for treatment.”