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Tue Aug 26, 2014, 07:11 PM

 

WHO withdraws staff from Sierra Leone Ebola lab after doctor became infected.

Source: The Independent.

The World Health Organization has withdrawn staff from a laboratory testing for Ebola at Kailahun in eastern Sierra Leone after one of its medical workers there was infected during the worst ever outbreak of the disease, a WHO spokesperson said.

"It's a temporary measure to take care of the welfare of our remaining workers," WHO spokesperson Christy Feig said. "After our assessment, they will return."

The WHO has sent nearly 400 people from its own staff and partner organisations to fight the outbreak in West Africa. It said on Sunday that a foreign health worker it had deployed in Sierra Leone had been infected.

Read more: http://www.independent.ie/world-news/africa/who-withdraws-staff-from-sierra-leone-ebola-lab-after-doctor-became-infected-30538487.html



Is it common for so many health workers to become infected in one of these outbreaks? One would think they should have the least chance of any who might come into contact with infected people, due to their training and use of sterile gloves and suits. Pardon me if I am missing something, but this string of doctors and their assistants who have come down with the current Ebola strain is rather troubling.

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Reply WHO withdraws staff from Sierra Leone Ebola lab after doctor became infected. (Original post)
another_liberal Aug 2014 OP
cosmicone Aug 2014 #1
another_liberal Aug 2014 #2
cosmicone Aug 2014 #3
another_liberal Aug 2014 #4

Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Tue Aug 26, 2014, 09:39 PM

1. Lab accidents happen albeit rare

 

Despite using the best laboratory practices, occasionally, a glove tears or a test tube breaks and exposes the scientist involved.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 26, 2014, 09:54 PM

2. Granted. No system can be perfect . . .

 

Still and all, the number of doctors and assistants infected seems surprisingly high. This is an unusually high number of those cases, isn't it?

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 26, 2014, 10:03 PM

3. Not really

 

considering the virulence of the virus. In the research labs, it is classified as a bio-safety level 4 virus and specimens are handled very strictly in negatively pressurized bio-safety cabinets inside ISO-5 rooms. In the field, those precautions cannot be adhered to and doctors can get infected from body fluids that can infect in tiny/microscopic droplet form. Nothing short of something similar to a spacesuit will prevent a rare infection.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 26, 2014, 10:06 PM

4. Thank you for the explanation . . .

 

Cold comfort though it was.

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