UK military health worker diagnosed with Ebola
A UK military health worker in Sierra Leone has tested positive for the Ebola virus, Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed.
The health service said medics in Sierra Leone were ensuring the worker was receiving appropriate care. A decision about whether to evacuate the medic to the UK has not yet been made.
According to Sky News, a second military health worker is being tested for the disease, but initial tests have come back negative.
Public Health England said an investigation into how the worker contracted the virus is currently under way. They are believed to have fallen ill at the Kerry Town Crisis Centre, built last year by the British Army and funded by the UK government.
“Any individuals identified as having had close contact will be assessed and a clinical decision made regarding bringing them to the UK,” the organization said.
“The UK has robust, well-developed and well-tested systems for managing Ebola and the overall risk to the public in the UK continues to be very low.”
The individual, who has yet to be named, is the second British citizen to be infected with the disease in 2015 after nurse Pauline Cafferkey was diagnosed with Ebola upon her return from Sierra Leone in January.
Another British man, Will Pooley, contracted the virus in 2014 and was successfully treated in the UK.
The military health worker is the third foreign medic to be infected in Sierra Leone. In November last year, a Cuban doctor was flown to Geneva for treatment and survived.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, more than 600 health workers have become infected in the three worst affected countries. Some 300 have died as a result, the majority being West African.
More than 9,500 people have died as a result of the outbreak.
The news comes as another patient was tested for the disease in a Welsh hospital on Tuesday after falling ill.
The individual, believed to be from Barry, Cardiff, was later found to have tested negative.