Top Ebola doctor dies after treating more than 100 patients

World Today

Sheik Umar Khan, head doctor fighting the deadly tropical virus Ebola in Sierra Leone, poses for a picture in Freetown on June 25, 2014. (REUTERS/Umaru Fofana)

The doctor leading Sierra Leone’s fight against the worst Ebola outbreak on record died from the virus on Tuesday, according to the country’s chief medical officer.

Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, who was praised as a national hero for risking his own life to treat more than 100 patients with the disease, had been hospitalized and in quarantine.

Meanwhile, a major regional airline announced it was suspending flights to the cities hardest hit by an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people.

In a statement released Tuesday, airline ASKY said it was temporarily halting flights not only to Monrovia but also to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Flights will continue to the capital of Guinea, the third major country where people have died, though passengers departing from there will be “screened for signs of the virus.”

Health workers have been especially vulnerable to contracting Ebola, which is spread through bodily fluids such as saliva, sweat, blood and urine. Two American health workers are currently hospitalized with Ebola in neighboring Liberia.

The Ebola virus has no vaccine and no specific treatment, with a fatality rate of at least 60 percent.


Report compiled with information from The Associated Press and Reuters.