WASHINGTON (AFP) – A doctor infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone was said to be “extremely ill” as he began receiving treatment Saturday in the United States, as the world’s most powerful economies vowed to “extinguish” the deadly epidemic.
Martin Salia, a US resident who was infected with the deadly hemorrhagic fever while treating patients in his home country, was flown to Nebraska for treatment.
Global leaders meeting at the G20 summit in the Australian city of Brisbane said they were prepared “to do what is necessary to ensure the international effort can extinguish the outbreak”.
Ebola has killed more than 5,100 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The vast desert nation of Mali, meanwhile, scrambled to prevent a new outbreak of the disease that has killed three people, despite hopeful signs elsewhere in Africa.
Liberia has lifted its state of emergency and the Democratic Republic of Congo announced the end of its own outbreak of the disease.
In London, musicians including boy band One Direction and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant recorded a new “Band Aid” single to help combat the virus.
In Brisbane, G20 members welcomed the International Monetary Fund’s initiative to release $300 million to combat Ebola and promised to share best practices on protecting health workers on the front line.
In the United States, attention was focused on the University of Nebraska Medical Center where Salia arrived in an “extremely critical condition”
Saturday from Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown where he had gone to treat Ebola patients at a hospital.
“This is an hour-by-hour situation,” said Phil Smith, medical director of the biocontainment unit at UNMC, one of a handful of medical facilities in the United States specially designated to treat Ebola patients.
“He is extremely ill,” Smith said. “We will do everything humanly possible to help him fight this disease.”
Salia is the third Ebola patient to be treated by the UNMC – the previous two survived.