TWO military healthcare workers who were in close contact with a servicewoman diagnosed with Ebola will return to the UK for monitoring in the North East.
The pair, who were identified alongside two other medics as having been in contact with the infected worker, remained in Sierra Leone as the infected worker and colleagues were transported back in an RAF plane to the Royal Free Hospital (RFH), in north-west London.
Both workers, who have not been diagnosed with the disease, will be brought back on separate EU Medevac flights to Newcastle, before being taken to the Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for monitoring over a 21-day incubation period in line with Ebola response plans.
A Public Health England (PHE) spokeswoman said: “PHE can confirm that arrangements are being made to transport to the UK the two other military healthcare workers identified as close contacts of the MoD (Ministry of Defence) healthcare worker recently returned to the UK following diagnosis of Ebola, for precautionary assessment and monitoring.
“As with previous Medevac cases, they will be initially assessed in hospital and a decision will be made whether they need to be admitted or discharged to appropriate accommodation where they will be monitored for any symptoms for the remainder of their incubation period.”
PHE announced the female worker had tested positive after being exposed to the virus while treating patients in Sierra Leone.
She is 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 the disease.
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.