A surgeon from Sierra Leone, who was also a permanent resident of the United States, became the second US Ebola casualty on Monday, a Nebraska hospital announced.
Dr. Martin Salia arrived at the Nebraska Medical Center in a critical condition on Saturday. The 44-year-old died on Monday morning, the hospital announced. He contracted the disease while working in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Salia was apparently wrongly diagnosed earlier and the 'medical lapse' is now being held responsible for his death. He tested negative for Ebola on 7 November after showing symptoms. Another test on 10 November confirmed the virus.
Friends, family, fellow physicians and President Obama have all expressed their sorrow at the surgeon's passing away.
"It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share this news," Phil Smith, medical director of the Bio-containment Unit at the hospital said, according to USA Today. "Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren't able to save him."
Obama issued a statement extending his "heartfelt condolences" to Salia's family members.
"Dr. Salia dedicated his life to saving others," Obama said. "He viewed his vocation as his calling."
Salia's family also issued a statement saying they were extremely "saddened" by the death and requested the media to allow private time for his wife and two sons. Patricia Mustapha, a friend of the diseased described Dr. Salia as a kind-hearted man and an excellent doctor.
"He was back in his country, helping his people," he told WUSA-TV in D.C. "We are just so sad. He died a hero."
Since the first Ebola case was reported in March in Guinea this year, 5,000 people have died from the virus, the World Health Organization reported in its latest update. The agency claims that the number could be much higher as many cases go unreported.