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British Ebola patient heads home as WHO staffer infected




Freetown/London: A British healthcare worker who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone — the first Briton to catch the deadly virus — was flown home for treatment on Sunday, as the World Health Organisation confirmed another foreign medic had caught the disease.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond authorised the repatriation of the male medical worker — whose identity has not been disclosed — after he was analysed by doctors from Britain and Sierra Leone.

The worst ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever has so far killed at least 1,427 people, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and neighbouring Guinea.

Britain's Deputy Chief Medical Officer John Watson said final approval for the evacuation was given on the ground in Sierra Leone by a team of physicians who had arrived on a specially equipped Royal Air Force cargo plane.

The Boeing C-17 left the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown bound for Britain at around 1250 GMT.

"We understand that this patient, during the course of the work that he was carrying out, was exposed about a week ago and became unwell two or three days ago," Watson told Sky News.

"The patient is not currently seriously unwell," the UK Department of Health said in a statement.
Upon arrival at the RAF Northolt air base in Britain, he will be transported to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London, the department said.

The World Health Organisation said one of its healthcare workers had tested positive for Ebola for the first time in Sierra Leone.

The WHO said it was working to ensure that the foreign worker, who it did not identify, was receiving the best possible care.

A government source in Sierra Leone, who asked not to be identified, said the worker was a Senegalese expert working for the WHO in the eastern town of Kailahun.

The WHO has deployed nearly 400 people from its own staff and partner organisations since the outbreak was detected in March.


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