Sierra Leone military medic tests positive for Ebola

The soldiers were due to relieve the West African nation's contingent already deployed with Somalia's African Union peacekeeping mission

Sierra Leone military medic tests positive for Ebola

World Bulletin/News Desk

A military medic at Sierra Leone's peacekeeping training centre in the capital Freetown has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, the spokesman for the West African nation's armed forces said on Tuesday.

Colonel Michael Samoura had earlier told Reuters the infected man belonged to a battalion of some 870 soldiers due to be deployed as peacekeepers with the African Union's peacekeeping mission inSomalia.

However, he later said the medic was not part of the force. The contingent would not be quarantined but could be placed under observation, Samoura added.

"We cannot rule that out but really there is no cause for alarm as far as the peacekeepers are concerned, because the peacekeepers have their own area where they are encamped. They have their billets far from where this individual was operating," he said.

A second senior military official, who earlier had said the contingent would face a 21-day quarantine, declined to comment further when contacted by Reuters.

The battalion was due to relieve Sierra Leone's contingent already participating in the mission inSomalia, known as AMISOM, in July, but their deployment was delayed due to administrative issues, Samoura said.

Meanwhile, Sierra Leone security forces on Tuesday clashed with angry residents of a densely populated neighbourhood in the capital Freetown who were protesting delays in removing the corpse of a suspected Ebola victim, witnesses said.

Security forces fired tear gas and rounds from AK-47 assault rifles to disperse the crowd that had barricaded the street in Aberdeen neighbourhood in protest, residents and video footage from Reuters television showed.

Residents said the body had been left unattended in the street for two days. The government of Sierra Leone was not immediately available to comment. 

More than 4,000 people have died in the worst epidemic of the viral haemorrhagic fever on record, most of them in LiberiaSierra Leone and Guinea.

Cases of the disease have also been recorded in NigeriaSenegalSpain and the United States, but outbreaks in those countries have been contained so far.

Last Mod: 14 Ekim 2014, 22:42
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