British Ebola patient flown home from Sierra Leone

2015-03-12 13:43

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London - A female British healthcare worker who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone was being flown home for treatment on Thursday, the ministry of defence said.

A Royal Air Force plane sent to the west African country on Wednesday is bringing the military servicewoman back to be treated in London's Royal Free Hospital, an MoD spokesperson said.

The condition of the patient, who was publicly confirmed to have Ebola on Wednesday, is unknown.

She is the third Briton to contract the virus in Sierra Leone - two nurses, William Pooley and Pauline Cafferkey, recovered after being treated in Britain.

Ebola has swept through Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia since December 2013, killing more than 9 900 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Britain has focused its aid effort on its former colony, Sierra Leone, and up to 700 British military personnel have been deployed along with numerous civilian medical staff.

The MoD spokesperson said: "Despite there being stringent procedures and controls in place to safeguard UK service personnel, there is always a level of risk in deployments on operations of this type."

Public Health England, a government agency, has said that the risk to the British public was "very low".

Read more on:    sierra leone  |  health  |  west africa  |  ebola

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