Doctors have begun treating the British man who was flown home after catching Ebola in Sierra Leone.
The patient, named as William Pooley, a 29-year-old volunteer nurse, by a US scientist who worked with him, was flown to RAF Northolt, North West London, on a military plane before being transported in a bubble to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in north London.
He was flown out of Sierra Leone’s main airport in Lungi in an RAF C-17 transport aircraft in a specially-equipped RAF C-17 transport aircraft.
After arriving at Northolt, he was given a police escort to hospital, where he will be treated in a specialist isolation unit for patients with highly infectious disease – the only one of its kind in Europe.
MrPooley had volunteered to go to west Africa to care for victims of the Ebola outbreak which has killed almost 1,500 people.
A Department of Health spokesman said last night that he was “not currently seriously unwell”.
Health chiefs say the risk to people in the UK from the virus remains “very low”.
Picture shows man believed to be British ebola victim being transferred to plane in Sierra Leone for flight to London
It has also emerged today that a worker with the World Health Organization has also fallen ill from Ebola in a completely separate case.
Nothing is known yet about the victim’s identity.
The victim being flown home to the UK is the first confirmed case of a Briton contracting the virus during the latest outbreak.
The deadly virus, for which there is no cure, is spread between humans through direct contact with infected bodily fluids.
A statement from Sierra Leone’s health ministry said the Briton had been volunteering at a clinic in the Kenema district of Sierra Leone.
SidieYayah Tunis, director of communications at the health ministry, said the patient had been flown out of the country’s main airport in the town of Lungi on Sunday.
Dr Paul Cosford, director for health protection at Public Health England, said the Briton was being transferred with “all appropriate protocols promptly activated” by UK health agencies.
He said: “Protective measures will be strictly maintained to minimise the risk of transmission to staff transporting the patient to the UK and healthcare workers treating the individual”.
He added: “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.”
Professor Tom Solomon, director of the Institute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool, said the chances of the infection spreading are minimal, saying the patient would be transported “in what is effectively a bubble”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has put the number of people infected with the deadly virus at 2,615.
Some 1,427 have died since the disease was identified in Guinea in March and spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.
Rigorous quarantine measures are used to stop the spread of Ebola, as well as high standards of hygiene for anyone who might come into contact with sufferers.
Symptoms of the virus appear as a sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.
According to the WHO, this is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and, in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.
The effects of the disease normally appear between two and 21 days after infection.
Outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.
In West Africa many people have been reluctant to hand over their relatives, partly because more often than not they never see them again. More than half of those who have caught Ebola have died.
Foreign Office advice, updated earlier this week, urged people to carefully assess their need to travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
British Airways suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone on 5 August until the end of the month.
The World Health Organization has put the number of people infected with the virus at 2,615. A total of 1,427 have died since the disease was identified in Guinea in March and spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.
Symptoms appear as a sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.
Courtesy: Daily Mirror and BBC News