British Healthcare Worker Tested For Ebola

A second UK military healthcare worker has been admitted to the Royal Free Hospital in north London after being pricked by a needle while treating an Ebola patient in Sierra Leone.

Public Health England says they arrived in the UK today (Monday 2 February).

They have not been diagnosed with Ebola and do not have symptoms.

It comes after another British military healthcare worker was flown back to England for monitoring after suffering a needle-stick injury, also in Sierra Leone.

Officials stressed there is no risk to public health and said the two cases appear to be unrelated.

Professor Paul Cosford, Public Health England's (PHE) director for health protection, said: "We can confirm that all the appropriate support is being offered to this individual and that strict protocols have been followed to transfer them back to the UK.

"We would like to emphasise that there is no risk to the general public's health. Our thoughts are with both of the healthcare workers, and their families, affected at this time."

Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Francois, said: "This is entirely a precautionary measure and our priority is the wellbeing of the individual involved. Their family has been informed and will receive all possible support from the Government.

"Although we have had two similar incidents within a short space of time, both appear to be unrelated. Our personnel receive the highest standard of training and briefing prior to deployment, including on the use of the specialised Personal Protective Equipment.

"On a visit to the country before Christmas I witnessed first-hand the bravery and commitment of the personnel who are doing such a fantastic job in Sierra Leone.

"Their efforts are deserving of the highest praise and we wish all the best for their two colleagues who are now in the UK."

The hospital in Hampstead, north London, said in a statement: "We can confirm that a second UK military healthcare worker has been admitted to the Royal Free Hospital today following a needlestick injury while working in Sierra Leone.

"The individual has been admitted to the Royal Free Hospital for assessment. The individual is likely to have been exposed to Ebola virus but has not been diagnosed with Ebola and does not have symptoms."