Briton with Ebola arrives in London hospital (Update)

A British nurse who contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone arrived at a London hospital on Sunday, the ministry of defence said.

The patient, who is not "seriously unwell" according to the Department of Health, was evacuated from Sierra Leone to London in a military plane.

The Briton is the first person from the country to have contracted the virus in an outbreak that has killed at least 1,427 people in West Africa since March.

The Department of Health said the patient was evacuated in a specially equipped C17 Royal Air Force military plane to RAF Northolt in north west London.

Flanked by a police escort, a special military ambulance took the man across London to Britain's only specialist Ebola isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital.

His bed will be sealed off with a tent with its own ventilation system, and only specially trained staff can enter the unit.

A spokesman for Sierra Leone's health ministry, Yahya Tunis, said the man was a volunteer nurse working in Kenema in eastern Sierra Leone, one of the areas hardest hit by Ebola which has now been quarantined.

"His colleagues are very sad over the development as he is considered as a valued member," Tunis said, adding that he was involved in "surveillance, contact tracing and the burial of Ebola victims".

England's deputy chief medical officer Professor John Watson insisted that the risk of the virus being spread in Britain remained "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 added.

Ebola spreads through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person.

The Ebola epidemic has spread through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, while Nigeria has also been affected. It is the worst outbreak of the killer virus yet.

The World Health Organization has warned it could take several months to bring the epidemic under control.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Woman tested for Ebola in Scotland

Aug 15, 2014

A woman who fell ill at an immigration facility centre in Scotland is being tested for the Ebola virus, health officials said Friday.

Recommended for you

Global Ebola toll rises to 5,689: WHO

32 minutes ago

The World Health Organization said Thursday that the global death toll from the Ebola virus had increased to 5,689 out of a total of 15,935 cases of infection, mainly in western Africa.

Ebola vaccine promising in first human trials

11 hours ago

Researchers say they're a step closer to developing an Ebola vaccine, with a Phase 1 trial showing promising results, but it will be months at the earliest before it can be used in the field.

At one month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases

14 hours ago

The U.S. program that requires weeks of monitoring for travelers from African countries with Ebola reaches the one-month mark Thursday. And so far, no cases of the disease have turned up.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.