PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – For the last month, a man from Squirrel Hill has been on the front lines of the Ebola fight in Sierra Leone.

Andy Pugh is an administrator at an Ebola clinic and spoke with KD Investigator Andy Sheehan by Skype about the continuing crisis there.

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Last month, Pugh was in his Pittsburgh home, packing his bags and getting his passport and Visa in order for a trip overseas.

Since that time, he’s been here in the West African nation of Sierra Leone, working with international doctors, nurses and relief workers confronting the Ebola epidemic. But despite those efforts, he says the disease is still out of control.

“It is out of control because the hospitals don’t have the capacity, don’t have the beds to take infected patients, the patients go home and then people taking care of them get infected,” Pugh said.

To that end, the organization Save the Children has constructed an 80-bed Ebola clinic where Pugh is an administrator. The clinic has just started taking patients and has a separate clinic for healthcare workers, should they succumb to the disease.

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But even though the disease seems far away, Pugh says efforts like this need to be successful for the rest of the world to be safe.

“The best way to defeat this virus is to defeat it here in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea,” he said. “And that’s why there’s hundreds and hundreds of aid workers against the clock to provide treatment and prevention.”

In West Africa, 5,000 have died. In Sierra Leone alone, there are about 5,000 more who are infected. But Pugh, a husband and father of two, says he doesn’t fear for his own health and stays about 40 yards away from anyone with Ebola. But he says he will take precautions when he returns to Pittsburgh.

“Out of respect for my friends in Squirrel Hill, I’ll self-quarantine, but I’m considered quite low risk,” he said.

So it will be about 21 days after his return that his friends will finally see Pugh. But he says the support of the people here is what is sustain him over there.

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