Thursday, March 12, 2015

British Military Medic In Sierra Leone Tests Positive For Ebola

The health worker is the third British citizen to test positive for the infectious disease.

British Army medics board an aircraft as they depart for Sierra Leone at RAF Brize Norton on October 21, 2014 in Brize Norton, England.

Matt Cardy / Getty Images

A health worker with the British military helping to bring the Ebola outbreak under control in Sierra Leone has tested positive for the highly infectious disease, officials said Wednesday.

Public Health England, a U.K. government body, said it was assessing the medic's condition to ensure appropriate care is delivered.

"An investigation into how the military worker was exposed to the virus is currently underway and tracing of individuals in recent contact with the diagnosed worker is being undertaken," a spokesperson said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

The group said it is yet to make a clinical decision on whether to medically evacuate the health worker to the U.K. for treatment.

It is also assessing individuals who have been in close contact with the health worker, some of whom may also face medical evacuation.

"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 spokesperson said.

The medic is the third British citizen to test positive for Ebola, which has killed around 10,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

Nurses William Pooley and Pauline Cafferkey, who both contracted the disease while volunteering to combat the health crisis West Africa, were flown to the U.K. for treatment.

The British Ministry of Defence has sent 600-700 personnel to Sierra Leone in connection with the Ebola crisis, according to the BBC.

LINK: UK Ebola Nurse Pauline Cafferkey Makes Full Recovery After Being In Critical Condition

LINK: Here’s How Many People Have Died From Ebola So Far

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