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Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them.
Posted at 10:00 AM, Jul 24, 2014

He'd been busy saving others, and now he's the one who needs to be saved.

The lead doctor in the fight against the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone has contracted the disease himself, according to government officials. The BBC highlights the terrible irony here. (Via Time, The Washington Post)

"Sheik Umar Khan had been hailed, has been hailed, as a national hero for his efforts to control the Ebola outbreak."

Khan has been the face fighting the disease in Sierra Leone. The 39-year-old had treated more than 100 people. With more than 200 dead in Sierra Leone and more than 600 dead total from this outbreak, it's impossible to ignore the danger for him here. 

The outbreak has hit Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia in recent months, first starting earlier this year in Guinea. (Via Google)

And as CNN reports, various health experts are calling this the worst outbreak ever.

"The World Health Organization and other doctors are saying it is out of control in this area of West Africa."

"It's the first time we have outbreaks in capital cities."

"As opposed to rural areas."

To contract Ebola, you have to come in close contact with an infected person. The problem is the infected countries have poor health care systems, and locals don't necessarily trust health workers.

"It's probably going to be several months before we are able to get a grip on this epidemic."

"Friends and relatives think hospitalization is a death sentence. In Liberia, health workers are being chased away by armed gangs." (Via Euronews)

Ebola typically has a 90 percent mortality rate.

The Washington Post reports Khan is being treated by Doctors Without Borders. "The charity is also evaluating the Ebola case management center ... and will report back to the Ministry of Health."

According to the BBC, three nurses recently died at that government hospital from suspected Ebola.

There is no known cure for the disease, and it can take weeks for symptoms to first appear.