Potential Deadly Ebola Virus case has been rushed to isolation unit in Berlin, Germany
Doctors in Berlin are keeping watch over a South Korean medic who was exposed to the Ebola virus while treating a patient in Sierra Leone. The medic had suffered an injury with a hypodermic needle.
The South Korean arrived on a special flight in Berlin Saturday to be monitored for symptoms of Ebola, doctors at the German capital’s prominent Charité hospital said.
“The person wasn’t flown to South Korea because the Korean government asked Europe to step in,” Dr. Frank Bergmann, who oversees the hospital’s treatment of highly infectious patients, said. “First of all it’s good from a transportation point of view to come here and secondly it’s better for the person’s anonymity to be treated here in Europe,” Bergmann added.
He said both the medic and the government of South Korea had requested as few details as possible be released, so declined to give the medic’s age, gender, profession or employer.
On Monday, the medic had been treating an Ebola patient in Sierra Leone when the patient jolted, causing the needle on a syringe filled with blood to pierce the three plastic gloves the medic was wearing.
“The patient had a very high viral load and died the next day, which means that there was a very high risk of infection,” Bergmann said, although adding that the medic did not currently show any symptoms of Ebola. They will remain under close medical supervision until the end of the three-week incubation period for Ebola. Bergmann added that should the medic develop symptoms, doctors could use experimental drugs.
“With our European standards there should be a good prognosis,” he said.
Previously, three medical workers have been treated for Ebola in Germany – a Senegalese doctor who had been infected in Sierra Leone was treated in Hamburg and survived, as did a Ugandan doctor also infected in Sierra Leone who was treated in Frankfurt. In Leipzig, a United Nations worker from Africa died from the disease after contracting it in Liberia.
Courtesy of DW