Agency: UK military health care worker tests positive for Ebola

The vast majority of the 24,000 reported Ebola cases have been in Liberia, Guinea and Sierre Leone, the latter being where the UK military health worker was infected.

Story highlights

  • Spokesperson: Experts are investigating how the UK military health care worker got Ebola
  • It is being decided if the military worker infected in Sierra Leone will return to England
  • There have been some 24,000 reported cases and 10,000 deaths in the latest Ebola outbreak

(CNN)A British military health care worker in Sierra Leone has tested positive for Ebola, a UK health agency said.

Medical experts are assessing what to do next, including whether or not the evacuate the infected individual to the United Kingdom for treatment, according to a Public Health England spokesperson.
    An Ebola outbreak has devastated parts of West Africa, with Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia being the hardest hit nations. The vast majority of the more than 24,000 confirmed, reportable and suspected cases, as well as the nearly 10,000 reported deaths, have been in those three countries, the World Health Organization reports.
    In some cases, citizens of other nations have come down with the deadly disease while working there -- as, apparently, is true for the UK military heath care worker whose diagnosis was announced Wednesday.
    Authorities are investigating how this person was exposed to the virus and tracing individuals in recent contact with the diagnosed worker, said the Public Health England spokesperson.
    "Any individuals identified as having had close contact will be assessed and a clinical decision made regarding bringing them to the UK," the spokesperson said.
    Pauline Cafferkey, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United Kingdom, was discharged from London's Royal Free Hospital in January after battling the virus.
    She is a public health nurse in Scotland's South Lanarkshire area who was part of a 30-strong team of medical volunteers deployed to West Africa by the UK government last month in a joint endeavor with Save the Children, according to British media outlets.