31 Jan 2015

British health worker returned to UK for Ebola monitoring

A British military healthcare worker is returned to England for Ebola monitoring following a needle injury after treating a patient in Sierra Leone.

The health worker has been admitted to the Royal Free Hospital in London for assessment and next of kin have been informed, Public Health England said.

The patient is being treated at the same hospital where British nurses Pauline Cafferkey and Will Pooley were treated in a specialist isolation unit.

They were each diagnosed with the disease after helping treat patients in Africa.

British nurse William Pooley, who was returned for Ebola treatment in August

The health worker is likely to have been exposed to the virus but has not been diagnosed with Ebola and is not displaying any symptoms, the hospital said.

The medic is believed to have been working at the Kerry Town treatment centre, and the injury is thought to have happened within the last 48 hours.

Special care centre

A military transport aircraft is believed to have brought the patient back as a precautionary measure, arriving at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire in the early hours of this morning.

British nurse Pauline Cafferkey, who has been released from the Royal Free having fallen into a critical condition

The Kerry Town complex comprises an 80-bed treatment centre managed by Save the Children, and a 12-bed centre staffed by British Army medics specifically for health care workers and international staff responding to the Ebola crisis.

Ms Cafferkey, 39, from Cambuslang, in South Lanarkshire, was discharged from the Royal Free this week after making a full recovery from Ebola.

She had volunteered with Save the Children at a treatment centre in Kerry Town, in Sierra Leone, and was diagnosed with Ebola on 29 December returning to Glasgow via London.

Mr Pooley, 29, contracted Ebola while volunteering in West Africa, and has returned to Sierra Leone to resume his work after recovering from the virus. He had been flown back to the UK by the RAF in August.