This is Sheik Umar Khan, 39, the head doctor fighting the spread of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone — and now he has contracted the deadly tropical virus as well, according to government officials cited by the Washington Post.
Ebola causes people to develop hemorrhagic fevers and can cause people to bleed to death. It is fatal in 90% of cases, according to the World Health Organization.
The current outbreak has killed 632 people in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, according to WHO. At least 206 people have died in Sierra Leone alone. Khan helped save more than 100 victims of the virus, according to the Washington Post.
"I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life," Khan told Reuters in June. "Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease."
Khan is now at an Ebola ward in Kailahun seeking treatment. The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) runs the ward, having assumed control from the government to increase care.
Before this outbreak, Ebola had not been a problem in this part of West Africa, leaving the region's few hospitals and clinics ill prepared to treat, and stop, the disease.
The earlier that Ebola victims receive treatment, the better their chance of survival. A severe lack of medical resources and other barriers to to access have instead enabled the world's worst Ebola outbreak to continue to fester.
Former BuzzFeed World Reporter, Current BuzzFeed News Contributor
Contact Miriam Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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