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Another doctor in Sierra Leone has died of Ebola — the fifth local doctor in the West African nation to die of the disease, authorities said Monday.
Dr. Godfrey George, medical superintendent of Kambia Government Hospital in northern Sierra Leone, died overnight in Freetown, authorities announced. It’s yet another example of how vulnerable health care professionals are to the virus, which is most easily transmitted when people are caring for very ill patients.
Sierra Leone only had two doctors for every 100,000 people in 2010, compared to about 240 doctors per 100,000 people in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. Public health experts say it’s vital to get more doctors, nurses and technicians train to fight Ebola in West Africa, where WHO says more than 13,000 people have been infected and more than 5,000 have died from the virus.
WHO says 523 health-care workers have been infected with Ebola in West Africa and 269 of them have died. Three doctors and two nurses treated in the United States have survived and a fourth U.S. doctor infected in Guinea, Dr. Craig Spencer, is being treated at Bellevue Hospital in New York.