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Thursday 18 September 2014

Face of British Ebola victim flown home from Sierra Leone

Male nurse William Pooley (29) was the first Briton to catch the deadly virus

Kylie MacLellan

Published 25/08/2014 | 02:30

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Credit: Facebook/William Pooley

The family of British Ebola victim William Pooley has thanked doctors fighting to save his life for the "excellent care" he is being given.

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In their first words since the 29 year-old volunteer nurse was flown back to the UK last night for emergency treatment, his family paid tribute to those who orchestrated his quick return.

They said: "We would like to express our thanks to all involved in bringing our son back to the UK.

"We have been astounded by the speed and way which the various international and UK government agencies have worked together to get Will home.

"Will is receiving excellent care at the Royal Free Hospital and we could not ask for him to be in a better place.

"We would like to thank all our family and friends for their best wishes and ask everyone to remember those in other parts of the world suffering with Ebola who do not have access to the same healthcare facilities as Will."

Mr Pooley, who contracted deadly Ebola in Sierra Leone, is being treated at a specialist isolation ward at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London.

Police escort a Royal Armed Forces (RAF) ambulance carrying a British man infected with the Ebola virus after he was flown home on a C17 plane from Sierra Leone, at Northolt air base outside London, August 24, 2014. The British medical worker was flown home from West Africa on Sunday after becoming the first Briton infected in an Ebola epidemic. The man was then driven to the Royal Free Hospital in London, where he will be treated in a purpose-built ward. REUTERS/Andrew Winning    (BRITAIN - Tags: HEALTH DISASTER MILITARY)
Police escort a Royal Armed Forces (RAF) ambulance carrying a British man infected with the Ebola virus after he was flown home on a C17 plane from Sierra Leone, at Northolt air base outside London
A British man infected with the Ebola virus is loaded into an Royal Air Force (RAF) ambulance after being flown home on a C17 plane from Sierra Leone, at Northolt air base outside London, August 24, 2014. The British medical worker was flown home from West Africa on Sunday after becoming the first Briton infected in the Ebola epidemic. The man was then driven to the Royal Free Hospital in London, where he will be treated in a purpose-built ward. REUTERS/Andrew Winning   (BRITAIN - Tags: HEALTH DISASTER MILITARY)
A British man infected with the Ebola virus is loaded into an Royal Air Force (RAF) ambulance after being flown home on a C17 plane from Sierra Leone, at Northolt air base outside London
File photo dated 12/08/14 of a high level isolation apparatus in the High Secure Infectious Disease Unit at The Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, London where a British national  who was living in Sierra Leone an who has tested positive for Ebola will be treated as he arrives back to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday August 24, 2014. See PA story HEALTH Ebola. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
High level isolation apparatus in the High Secure Infectious Disease Unit at The Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, London

The British healthcare worker, who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone, was flown home for treatment yesterday.

William Pooley was the first Briton to catch the deadly virus as the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed another foreign medic had caught the disease.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond authorised the repatriation of the 29-year-old male medical worker after he was analysed by doctors from Britain and Sierra Leone.

The worst outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever has so far killed at least 1,427 people, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and neighbouring Guinea. Five deaths have been reported in Nigeria.

Britain's deputy chief medical officer John Watson said final approval for the evacuation was given on the ground in Sierra Leone by a team of physicians who had arrived on a specially equipped Royal Air Force cargo plane.

"The patient is not currently seriously unwell," the UK Department of Health said.

Upon arrival in Britain, he was transported to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London, the department said

"Protective measures will be strictly maintained to minimise the risk of transmission to staff transporting the patient and healthcare workers treating the individual," a director for Public Health England said.

The WHO said one of its healthcare workers had tested positive for Ebola for the first time in Sierra Leone. The organisation said it was working to ensure the healthcare worker was receiving the best possible care. A government source in Sierra Leone said the worker was a Senegalese expert working for the WHO in Kailahun.

Irish Independent

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