Sheik Umar Khan, head doctor fighting the deadly tropical virus Ebola in Sierra Leone, poses for a picture in Freetown, June 25, 2014.
Sheik Umar Khan, a leading virologist in Sierra Leone credited with treating over 100 Ebola patients, has died from the virus.
He became infected earlier this month, and was moved to a treatment ward operated by the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres in the northern region of the West African nation.
The 39-year-old doctor was described as a "national hero" by Health Minister Miatta Kargbo, for his work to control the outbreak that has taken the lives of more than 200 people in Sierra Leone, and more than 600 throughout West Africa. Up to 90 percent of people who become infected with the virus die from it. There is no cure, and no vaccine.
Khan told Reuters in late June that he was worried about contracting Ebola. "I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life," he said in an interview, showing no signs of ill health at the time. "Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease. Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk."
Three nurses working in the same Ebola treatment center with Khan also died from the disease in recent weeks.
Also in Sierra Leone, the Ebola patient who became the subject of a nationwide hunt when her family forcefully removed her from a hospital after diagnosis has died. Her family took her to a traditional healer, and she died in an ambulance on the way back to a hospital, according to a health official.
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