Doctors monitor Ebola health worker


Published: Saturday 14th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Doctors are continuing to monitor a female military healthcare worker who tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus.

The woman is being treated in a high-level isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital (RFH) in London after being flown back to the UK on Thursday from Sierra Leone in a RAF plane.

Four colleagues who came into contact with her were also tested for the virus and evacuated from the west African country.

Three were discharged after being assessed at the RFH and the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where one remains under observation.

A civilian healthcare worker is also being treated at the RFH after potentially being exposed to Ebola via a needle-stick breach of the personal protective equipment that is worn when treating patients.

The individual is not showing any symptoms of the disease, and the case is not connected to the other five.

They will be subjected to assessments and kept under observation until they can be given the all-clear once the 21-day incubation period is complete.

Health officials said it was unlikely there would be updates on the conditions of any of the patients over the weekend.

A Public Health England (PHE) spokeswoman said yesterday: “The three discharged individuals will reside in appropriate private accommodation and will be monitored for any symptoms for the remainder of their incubation period, in line with standard protocols.”

PHE Ebola incident lead Dr Jenny Harries added that the UK has “robust, well-developed and well-tested systems” for managing Ebola and the overall risk to the UK was “very low”.

The World Heath Organisation (WHO) said this week that the death toll from the Ebola epidemic had surpassed 10,000. The outbreak has been raging for more than a year, with Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia the worst-affected countries.

But the epidemic has shown signs of slowing down in recent months and Liberia released its last Ebola patient from a treatment centre last week.

Up to 700 British military personnel are currently deployed in Sierra Leone to aid the Ebola effort.

Nurses Pauline Cafferkey and Will Pooley – the only other Britons to have tested positive for the disease – were also treated at the RFH and both made full recoveries.

Published: Saturday 14th March 2015 by The News Editor

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