British Ebola patient to leave S Leone


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File photo shows senior Matron Breda Athan demonstrates putting on the protective suit which would be used if it becomes necessary to treat patients suffering from Ebola, at The Royal Free Hospital in London. Picture: Suzanne Plunkett/Files

The first British citizen confirmed to be infected with the deadly Ebola disease is being evacuated from Sierra Leone on a jet sent by the Royal Air Force, a Sierra Leone official said on Sunday.

The male patient, who has not been identified, was working at an Ebola treatment centre in eastern Sierra Leone, the region most affected by the outbreak, said Sidie Yayah Tunis, director of communications for Sierra Leone's health ministry.

“A male British national with nursing background... is being evacuated to the United Kingdom Sunday, August 24, 2014 on board a special jet from the British Royal Air Force sent by the British government,” Tunis said.

The patient was transported via ambulance to Sierra Leone's main airport in the town of Lungi, Tunis said.

Sierra Leone has recorded 910 Ebola cases and 392 deaths, according to the most recent figures from the World Health Organisation. Across West Africa, a total of 2 615 infections and 1 427 deaths have been recorded, though the UN health agency says these numbers don't capture the extent of the outbreak.

The Sierra Leone government says there have been 881 cases and 333 deaths. In Kenema, where the Briton was working, the government has recorded 303 cases.

It was not immediately clear what kind of treatment the British patient would receive.

The UK Department of Health confirmed on Saturday that a British citizen had been infected with the disease in Sierra Leone. Experts were “assessing the situation to ensure that appropriate care is delivered,” said John Watson, deputy chief medical officer. - Sapa-AP

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