Ebola Kills Doctor Who Treated Dozens


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Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, who risked contracting Ebola to treat dozens of patients, succumbed to the deadly disease Tuesday, according to officials in Sierra Leone. Khan, who had been regarded as a national hero in his country, died while in a hospital under quarantine.

Manifestation of Ebola begins with a sudden onset of an influenza-like stage characterized by general malaise, fever with chills and chest pain. Nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting are also common symptoms. Regarding the central nervous system, victims experience severe headaches, agitation, confusion, fatigue, depression, seizures and sometimes coma.

Those who contract Ebola typically die of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) due to fluid redistribution, hypotension, weakened intravascular coagulation and focal tissue necroses. The hemorrhaging that comes with the disease is typically not the cause of death.

Healthcare workers are especially susceptible to catching the Ebola virus.

Here is an interesting Vice News documentary concerning the transmission of Ebola through eating bushmeat in Liberia:

Human-to-human transmission of Ebola occurs via direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected person, or by contact with contaminated medical equipment such as needles. No cases of aerosol transmission have been reported, and a potential for widespread Ebola epidemics is considered to be low, due to the high fatality rate of the illness, along with the rapidity of the demise of patients.

The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria is the largest recorded in history, and the disease has a mortality rate of roughly 68 percent. So far, the outbreak has taken over 670 lives, and a vaccination is years away.

Area flights have been restricted to stop the spread of the disease, and Binyah Kesselly, chairman of the Liberia Airport Authority board, said guards are now posted at the airport in Monrovia to enforce screening of passengers. "So if you have a flight and you are not complying with the rules, we will not allow you to board," he said.

Image via Wikimedia Commons