British Ebola survivor nurse to return to Sierra Leone

15th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

A British nurse who survived Ebola after being flown out of Sierra Leone for treatment is planning to return to Africa as a volunteer, he revealed on Wednesday.

"I know my mum and dad are worried but they support me because they know this is something I have to do," William Pooley, 29, told an event for health workers who are considering volunteering to fight the outbreak.

"It does not seem likely that I will contract it again... It was an easy decision at that time and it is the same now."

Pooley was evacuated from Sierra Leone by military plane in August after he became the first known British person to contract the hemorrhagic fever, which has killed 70 percent of those infected in the current outbreak.

He had been working as a volunteer in the west African country -- at the centre of the crisis along with Guinea and Liberia -- and made a full recovery after treatment in a London isolation unit with experimental drug ZMapp.

The World Health Organisation has said that the epidemic, which has been described as the most severe health crisis in modern times, could soon infect 10,000 people a week.

Western leaders have called for a huge increase in resources and coordination to fight the outbreak, which has killed some 4,500 people largely in west Africa and new cases have been discovered in Europe and the US.

Pooley described the choice to return as "an easy decision" and said it was possible he could be immune because he had already fought off the illness.

About 30 national health service workers (NHS) attended the event, among over 600 NHS staff who responded to a call for volunteers in September.


© 2014 AFP

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