By Euro Weekly News Media • 25 August 2014 • 9:47
THE first Briton confirmed to have been infected with the Ebola virus currently ravaging West Africa was evacuated to London on Sunday.
Named by the BBC as 29-year-old healthcare volunteer William Pooley, the patient was moved from Freetown in Sierra Leone by RAF plane, arriving at RAF Northolt, West London,at around 9pm.
A statement issued by the Department of Health before the evacuation said: “The patient is not currently seriously unwell and is being medically evacuated in a specially equipped C-17 Royal Air Force plane to RAF Northolt in the UK. Upon arrival in the UK, the patient will be transported to an isolation unit at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.”
Earlier this month, Spanish priest Miguel Pajares was the first known European to die from the virus. He had been moved to Madrid following a period of quarantine in Liberia.
In general, however, Western medical resources have shown encouraging signs in the treatment of the virus. Last week, two US citizens were given the all-clear after receiving experimental treatment.
Speaking to The Guardian, Professor John Watson, deputy chief medical officer for England, said that public health risks remained low in the UK.
He said: “We have robust, well-developed and well-tested NHS systems for managing unusual infectious diseases when they arise, supported by a wide range of experts.
“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.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that so far there have been 2,615 confirmed cases of the virus, of these, 1,427 have resulted in the death of the patient.
The virus is believed to have broken out in Guinea in March and since spread to the neighbouring countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
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