London, Aug 24 IANS | 4 months ago

A British national, who contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, has been flown back to Britain on a Royal Air Force (RAF) jet, authorities said Sunday.

The unidentified patient, who is a healthcare worker, will be flown to a British airbase and will then be transported to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London, BBC reported citing the British Department for Health.

The British patient is "not currently seriously unwell", the spokesman said.

The department for health said the patient was being "medically evacuated" in a specially equipped C17 RAF aircraft following "clinical advice".

It is the first confirmed case of a Briton contracting the virus.

A statement from Sierra Leone's health ministry said the Briton was a man who had been volunteering at a clinic in the Kenema district of Sierra Leone.

Saturday, the British Department of Health confirmed that a Briton living in Sierra Leone has tested positive for Ebola.

"We can confirm that a British national residing in Sierra Leone has tested positive for Ebola virus infection," Xinhua quoted the health department as saying.

"The overall risk to the public in the UK (Britain) continues to be very low. Medical experts are currently assessing the situation in Sierra Leone to ensure that appropriate care is provided," said John Watson, deputy chief medical officer.

Last week, as many as 113 new cases of Ebola virus disease as well as 84 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organisation said.

The toll in Guinea, where the epidemic started, is 406, while in Sierra Leone 392 have succumbed to the haemorrhagic fever. Nigeria has witnessed five deaths so far.

An outbreak of Ebola virus disease began in Guinea in December 2013, leading to an epidemic in West Africa after it spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

(Posted on 24-08-2014)

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