American doctor infected with Ebola in intensive care

An American doctor is receiving intensive medical treatment in Liberia after he was infected with the deadly Ebola virus while treating patients in the West African nation, a spokeswoman for an aid organisation said.

Dr Kent Brantly was in a stable condition, talking with his doctors and working on his computer while receiving care at a hospital in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, said Melissa Strickland, a spokeswoman for North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse.

She cautioned that Dr Brantly is “not out of the woods yet”. She said patients have a better chance of survival if they receive treatment immediately after being infected, which Dr Brantly did.

Dr Brantly, 33, has been working as a medical director for Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia since October 2013 as part of the group’s post-residency programme for doctors, Ms Strickland said.

The highly contagious Ebola virus is one of the most deadly diseases in the world. It has killed at least 672 people in several African countries since the outbreak began earlier this year.

A government official said earlier that one of Liberia’s most high-profile doctors had died of the virus, highlighting the risks facing health workers.

Dr Samuel Brisbane is the first Liberian doctor to die in the outbreak. A Ugandan doctor working in the country died earlier this month.

Meanwhile, a Sierra Leone Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment centre and took her to a traditional healer, died in an ambulance on the way to hospital, a health official said. Health officials say fear and mistrust of health workers in Sierra Leone, where many have more faith in traditional medicine, are hindering efforts to contain an Ebola outbreak which has killed more than 450 people in the country.

In recent days crowds clashed with police as they gathered outside clinics and hospitals to protest against what they see as a conspiracy.


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