The Ebola crisis has faded from headlines, but remains a risk after the death of another Ebola patient in Nebraska and the death of a suspected victim in New York yesterday. This brings the number of confirmed deaths to two in the U.S. and possibly three if the New York victim is confirmed as having had Ebola.
The toll in the Ebola epidemic has risen to 5,420 deaths out of 15,145 cases in eight countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today. Transmission of the deadly virus still "intense and widespread" in Sierra Leone.
The figures, through November 16, represent a jump of 243 deaths and 732 cases since those issued last Friday. Cases continue to be under-reported, the WHO said in its latest update.
Recently, a death occurred recently of Martin Salia, a doctor who was flown into the U.S. on Saturday for treatment. Initial tests for the virus came back negative, but as his condition deteriorated he was found to have contracted Ebola.
Salia is the second person to die of Ebola in the United States. Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man living in Texas, contracted the disease in his native country but was not diagnosed until after his return to Dallas.
“We are reminded today that even though this was the best possible place for a patient with this virus to be, that in the very advanced stages, even the most modern techniques that we have at our disposal are not enough to help these patients once they reach the critical threshold,” said Jeffrey Gold, chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, lamenting Salia’s death.
The latest Ebola death shows danger remains and the fact that U.S. trained doctors working in west Africa have been contracting Ebola demonstrates the virulent nature of the virus. It also contradicts the suggestion that it is the incompetence on the part of African healthcare professionals that has allowed Ebola to get out of hand.