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Doctors are about to treat their 10th Ebola patient on American soil — a Sierra Leonean surgeon with U.S. residency who will be flown to Nebraska on Saturday for treatment, according to a federal official.
Dr. Martin Salia would be the third patient treated at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. A spokesman said in a statement Thursday evening he could not yet confirm anyone was coming. Salia would become the hospital’s third Ebola patient since August.
"However, a patient with the Ebola virus will soon be evaluated for possible treatment of the disease here," said Taylor Wilson, senior media relations coordinator for Nebraska Medicine. "This patient contracted the disease in Sierra Leone and recently tested positive for Ebola. The condition of the patient will dictate whether he comes to Omaha for treatment.
"He will be evaluated by the medical crew on the Phoenix Air jet upon their arrival in Sierra Leone. The members of the crew will determine whether the patient is stable enough for transport - if he is, he would arrive in Omaha sometime Saturday afternoon," Wilson said.
Sierra Leone is one of the West African nations grappling with the Ebola outbreak. It's been worsening there, and the country's lost several high-profile doctors to the virus. Salia tested positive Monday.
"Hopefully, by God's grace, everything will come out with a good news," Salia's father, Maada Salia, said in a statement.
Nine people have been treated for Ebola in the United States. One of those patients died — Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who contracted the virus in Africa then flew home to Texas for a planned marriage.
Nebraska Medical Center earlier treated Ashoka Mukpo, the cameraman diagnosed with Ebola while working in Liberia as a freelancer for NBC News. On Oct. 21, Mukpo was declared free of the virus and was allowed to leave the facility’s biocontainment unit.
Ebola patient Dr. Richard Sacra also was treated at the Nebraska hospital. He received an experimental drug, as well as blood serum from Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly and was declared virus-free and released Sept. 25.
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