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8th Sierra Leonean doctor dies of Ebola

Agencies | Updated: 2014-12-06 21:32

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone - Another Sierra Leonean doctor has died from Ebola, the eighth such victim in a country with too few health workers, a health official said Saturday.

Dr. Thomas Rogers, who had worked at Connaught Hospital in the capital, died Friday, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brima Kargbo. In all, 11 Sierra Leonean doctors have been infected.

Ebola has sickened more than 17,500 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Of those, about 6,200 have died. The disease is currently spreading fastest in Sierra Leone.

Ebola is spread through the bodily fluids of people showing symptoms and people who have died of the disease. Because transmission requires close contact with those fluids, health workers are among the most at risk of contracting it and hundreds have become infected in this outbreak.

The high number of infections in health workers has deterred many from volunteering to work on Ebola wards, especially local health workers. While foreign doctors and nurses who have become infected have been evacuated for treatment at world-class hospitals abroad, locals are typically treated in-country.

In an effort to address that disparity, special clinics dedicated to the treatment of health care workers and staffed by foreigners have opened in Sierra Leone and Liberia and another is planned for Guinea. Rogers was treated at one of those, a clinic in Kerry Town staffed by British army medics.

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