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British Ebola patient in West Africa evacuated back to London

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-25 10:20

British Ebola patient in West Africa evacuated back to London

A sign is displayed outside of the Royal Free Hospital in north London August 24, 2014. A British medical worker was flown home from West Africa on Sunday after becoming the first Briton infected in an Ebola epidemic, and a separate new outbreak of the disease was detected in Democratic Republic of Congo. The man was transported to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London.[Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - A British healthcare worker residing in Sierra Leone, who has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus disease, has been flown back to London, British authority said on Sunday.

The Department of Health confirmed that, following clinical advice, a decision has been made to evacuate the British patient, who is ?not currently seriously unwell?.

The patient is being medically evacuated in a specially equipped C17 Royal Air Force (RAF) plane to RAF Northolt airport, the department said in a statement.

Upon arrival in Britain, the patient will be transported to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in north London, according to the statement.

Local media reported that, the 29-year-old, believed to be a male nurse named William, caught the virus while caring for patients at a hospital where 15 nurses have already died of the disease.

But the Department of Health said: ?No further details about the patient will be provided due to patient confidentiality.?

Professor John Watson, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, reassured the public that, the overall risk to the public in Britain ?remains very low?.

?UK hospitals have a proven record of dealing with imported infectious diseases and this patient will be isolated and will receive the best care possible,? he said.

Dr Paul Cosford, Director for Health Protection at Public Health England, also said that: ?For Ebola to be transmitted from one person to another contact with blood or other body fluids is needed and as such, the risk to the general population remains very low.?

According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola virus is spread through contact with bodily fluids, people giving care or working around infected patients are known to be a high-risk group.

As of Aug. 20, the total number of cases attributed to the deadly virus in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone has reached 2,615, including 1,427 deaths.

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