Ebola doctor contracts Ebola

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A doctor in charge of an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone has been admitted to hospital after contracting the deadly virus himself, the health ministry said Wednesday (July 23).

The news comes just days after three nurses from the same facility died of the disease, which has killed hundreds of people throughout west Africa and continues to spread.

Dr Omar Khan was in charge of the main Ebola treatment centre in Kenema, around 320 kilometres east of the capital Freetown, when he caught the virus.

Khan has been transferred to another treatment facility run the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the Sierra Leone health ministry said.

AFP reported that the deputy health minister, Dr Abubakarr Fofanah told them that Dr Khan is responding to treatment and is currently "cheerful and fine"

Unfortunately that cannot be said for three nurses whose death were confirmed by the health ministry on Monday (July 21). 

Health workers carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014.Photo: Reuters

Nurses at the Kenema Ebola centre, located within a government-run hospital, are now calling for it to be relocated to another site and for MSF to take over the running of the facility, Tunis added. 

Amid growing concern over the spread of the virus, activists have launched a campaign urging President Ernest Koroma to cancel an August trip to a US-Africa summit in Washington to deal with the crisis.

“He should cancel the trip and declare the Ebola outbreak a national emergency,” said journalist Lamrana Bah, who is leading the campaign.

Ebola is a form of haemorrhagic fever which is deadly in up to 90 percent of cases. It can fell victims within days, causing severe fever and muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhoea – and in some cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.

According to the latest figures from the health ministry released on Wednesday, 422 cases of Ebola have been reported in Sierra Leone, leading to 143 deaths. In addition to Sierra Leone the virus has swept through Guinea and Liberia leaving more than 800 people dead, according to the World Health Organisation.