Public Health England (PHE) can confirm that a second UK military healthcare worker has been transported back to England, following likely exposure to the Ebola virus via a needle-stick injury when treating a person with Ebola in Sierra Leone.
The patient has been admitted to the Royal Free Hospital in London for assessment.
The individual is likely to have been exposed to Ebola virus but has not been diagnosed with Ebola and does not have symptoms.
Professor Paul Cosford, PHE’s Director for Health Protection and Medical Director, said:
We can confirm that all the appropriate support is being offered to this individual and that strict protocols have been followed to transfer them back to the UK. We would like to emphasise that there is no risk to the general public’s health. Our thoughts are with both of the healthcare workers, and their families, affected at this time.
Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Francois, said:
This is entirely a precautionary measure and our priority is the wellbeing of the individual involved. Their family has been informed and will receive all possible support from the government.
Although we have had 2 similar incidents within a short space of time both appear to be unrelated. Our personnel receive the highest standard of training and briefing prior to deployment, including on the use of the specialised personal protective equipment.
On a visit to the country before Christmas I witnessed first-hand the bravery and commitment of the personnel who are doing such a fantastic job in Sierra Leone. Their efforts are deserving of the highest praise and we wish all the best for their 2 colleagues who are now in the UK.
The latest numbers on the West Africa Ebola outbreak in the three countries with widespread transmission are as follows:
22,334 probable, suspected, and confirmed cases and 8,921 deaths, according to the latest WHO update.