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Seoul set to send 2nd medical team to Ebola-hit Sierra Leone

All Headlines 09:36 January 09, 2015

SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will send its second batch of medical personnel to Ebola-hit Sierra Leone this weekend as initially planned despite concerns about the possible infection of a South Korean medical worker there, officials said Friday.

A team of 10-strong medical workers will leave South Korea on Saturday on a mission to treat Ebola patients in Goderich, near Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, according to officials from the foreign ministry.

The first batch has worked there since late December while the final batch of 10 workers will be sent to the West African country next month.

The planned dispatch comes despite concerns over infection of the deadly virus as an unidentified medical worker was airlifted to a hospital in Germany last week to undergo a three-week monitoring.

The worker's index finger came in contact with a needle through a partly ripped glove while collecting blood from an Ebola patient. The team member tested negative in a preliminary test for the virus, but more days are needed for a conclusive test result.

Seoul has beefed up its safety training for the second team to prevent Korean medical workers from being infected with the virus, officials said.

South Korea has joined global efforts to fight Ebola by sending medical workers and offering a combined US$12.6 million in assistance. The virus is estimated to have killed more than 8,000 people since December 2013, according to the World Health Organization.


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