Liberia president apologises for high toll for Ebola health workers

The West African Ebola outbreak, centred on Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, is the worst in history. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday it is an international health emergency that will likely continue spreading for months.

The disease has put a severe strain on the health systems of affected states and governments have responded with a range of measures, including the declaration of national emergencies in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, which confirmed seven cases of Ebola in Lagos.

Ebola has reaped a high toll on health workers who have acted as first responders. Liberia alone has lost at least three doctors to the virus and 32 health workers.

Sierra Leone’s Health Ministry said a senior physician had contracted the disease at the Connaught referral hospital in the capital, Freetown.

Dr. Modupeh Cole contracted the disease “after treating a patient … who was later proved to have the virus and died,” said ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis.

Cole was taken to an Ebola treatment centre in eastern Kailahun district, run by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, Tunis said.

He is the latest Sierra Leonean medical practitioner to contract the virus. The country’s leading Ebola doctor, Shek Umar Khan, died of the disease last month and several nurses have died.

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.