A doctor in Sierra Leone died of Ebola overnight on Sunday, making him the fifth physician in the West African country to succumb to the disease.
The victim was Dr. Godfrey George, a medical superintendent of Kambia Government Hospital in the northern part of the country, The Associated Press reported.
The largest Ebola outbreak in history has affected thousands of people throughout West Africa since March, when 49 cases were initially detected in Guinea. Nearly 5,000 people have died worldwide from the disease, and almost 10,000 cases have been identified, according to the World Health Organization, which notes that there is widespread under-reporting.
The epidemic in Sierra Leone has been ongoing since May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sierra Leone’s government implemented a national three-day lockdown in September to fight the Ebola virus. Police officers, soldiers, and thousands of volunteers went door-to-door, educating people about the dangers of the virus and identifying people who might have passed the disease to others. Ebola is spread only through contact with a symptomatic patient’s body fluids.
The condition of Dr. Craig Spencer, an emergency room doctor in New York City, was upgraded over the weekend to “stable.” He will continue to receive treatment in isolation at Bellevue Hospital Center. He returned to the United States on Oct. 17 after treating Ebola patients in Guinea, and, a week later, tested positive for the disease.