South Korean medic evacuated over Ebola fears

Health worker transferred to German hospital after contact with patient in Sierra Leone

Health worker transferred to German hospital after contact with patient in Sierra Leone

SEOUL – A South Korean health care worker has been airlifted from Sierra Leone to Germany after possibly contracting the Ebola virus, South Korean officials said Saturday.

The unidentified worker was transferred to Berlin over fears that he or she may have come into contact with the virus, the English-language Korea JoongAng Daily reported.

It is the first time a Korean national has been treated to determine Ebola infection.

In a press conference, Korean officials said the worker was taking blood from an Ebola patient on Tuesday when his or her glove was ripped off and the needle “brushed” the worker’s left index finger. There was no sign of external injury to the health worker.

The patient later died.

The medical worker, who was wearing triple-layered gloves, has not shown any symptoms of Ebola, such as vomiting or fever. The worker will be quarantined for 21 days and return to South Korea if he or she shows no signs of having contracted the virus.

The worker was among four doctors and six nurses who began working at the British Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown on Dec. 27, three days before the incident.

Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids or tissues of infected animals or people.

More than 7,900 people have died from Ebola since the outbreak erupted in December 2013, according to the World Health Organization, which said that of 678 medical personnel infected, 382 had died.

South Korea plans to send a total of 30 medical workers in three batches to Sierra Leone. The remaining two groups are still scheduled to depart over the coming weeks.

Copyright © 2015 Anadolu Agency