A South Korean health care worker, treating patients suffering from Ebola in Sierra Leone, was flown to Germany, after he was injured with a hypodermic needle. Berlin’s Charite hospital said that a young man was taken into its special isolation unit on Saturday, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
The hospital did not confirm that the person had contracted the Ebola virus, but said that a media briefing will be held later Saturday to clarify the case further, AP reported. The deadly Ebola virus has killed over 8,000 people in the latest outbreak, which began more than a year ago. According to Yonhap, the official South Korean news agency, the patient was reportedly carried to Germany using Phoenix Air, a U.S. air ambulance company, after he was said to be at risk while collecting blood samples from a patient.
“To be more precise, the worker said, ‘It felt like the needle grazed my skin,’” Park Jong-chul, an official from the health ministry said, according to The Korea Herald, a South Korean newspaper.
The South Korean, who was part of one of the first batches of health care workers sent to Sierra Leone in December, will reportedly be monitored at the facility for 21 days to identify any symptoms of the disease, The Korea Herald reported.
Meanwhile, Anthony Banbury, the outgoing head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, said Friday that Ebola will end in 2015 as authorities have made progress in fighting the virus, but challenges still remain.
“It’s an insidious, invasive disease that attacks people through acts of caring and kindness,” Banbury said, adding: “It’s going to be extremely hard for us to bring it down to zero, but that is what we will do. That is the only acceptable outcome.”