South Korean medic's initial test negative for Ebola

Health worker showing no signs of virus after exposure in Sierra Leone

South Korean medic's initial test negative for Ebola

World Bulletin/News Desk

A South Korean medic suspected of having been exposed to the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone has tested negative, Korean media said Sunday.

Yonhap national news agency cited officials at Charite university hospital in Berlin, where the health worker was transferred to from Africa, as saying a preliminary test had come back negative for the virus.

The worker, whose identity has been withheld, is in stable condition and is not showing any symptoms of the virus, hospital officials said. The worker will be monitored further as test results are only conclusive six to 10 days after exposure to the virus.

Even if these results are also negative, the health worker will remain in quarantine for a total of 21 days.

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

Earlier, Korean officials said the worker was taking blood from an Ebola patient on Dec. 30 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.

Korean authorities cited by Yonhap said the risk to the medic was deemed sufficient to warrant airlifting to Germany. Seoul reportedly favored a European hospital to protect the anonymity of the exposed individual in Korea.

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.


Last Mod: 04 Ocak 2015, 11:32
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