Two Ebola workers return to UK

Two military healthcare workers who were in close contact with a servicewoman diagnosed with Ebola have returned to the UK for monitoring but are not showing any signs of the disease.

The pair were identified alongside two other medics as having been in contact with the infected worker.

The two medics and the infected worker were transported back in an RAF plane to the Royal Free Hospital (RFH) in north west London yesterday, with the remaining two brought back today.

The two, who have not been diagnosed with the disease, travelled on separate EU Medevac flights to Newcastle, before being taken to the city’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for monitoring over a 21-day incubation period in line with Ebola response plans.

A spokeswoman for Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Royal Victoria Infirmary can confirm it is working with Public Health England (PHE) to provide clinical assessment of two returning military healthcare workers who have potentially been exposed to the Ebola virus in West Africa.

“This is a precautionary measure. Neither of these individuals has been diagnosed with Ebola and they are not showing any symptoms of the disease.

“They will be assessed at the hospital using expert guidance and a decision will be made if tests or treatment are required.

“The risk to other patients and wider public from Ebola is very low but all appropriate actions are being taken to protect the public’s health.”

PHE announced on Wednesday that the female worker had tested positive after being exposed to the virus while treating patients in Sierra Leone.

She is currently being treated in a high-level isolation unit at the RFH.

The two healthcare staff who travelled back with her are being monitored for the disease as a precaution and the RFH said they were not displaying symptoms of it.

Their arrival back in the UK comes as the World Heath Organisation (WHO) said the death toll from the Ebola epidemic has surpassed 10,000.

Up to 700 British military personnel are deployed in the West African country to aid the Ebola effort.

Nurses Pauline Cafferkey and Will Pooley – the only other Britons to have tested positive for the disease – were also treated at the RFH and both made full recoveries.

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