Red Cross to Continue Fighting Ebola
10 October 2014 at 1:21 pm
The Australian Red Cross has declared it will continue to fight the Ebola crisis in West Africa after one of its aid workers returned a negative test for the disease.
Sue Ellen Kovack was being treated in a Cairns hospital after returning from Sierra Leone to Australia five days ago and showing symptoms of Ebola. She tested negative for Ebola today.
“It is really great news that Sue Ellen’s initial test results indicate that she does not have Ebola. Of course Sue Ellen is relieved and happy, though she is aware that she is still to complete a precautionary period of isolation for three weeks after leaving Sierra Leone,” Australian Red Cross Head of International Program Peter Walton said.
“The results really show that Red Cross has systems in place that all of our aid workers follow carefully, to ensure that their personal protection is first and foremost. Working in the personal protective equipment can be terribly hot and difficult work but our health professionals have strict procedures in place for their safety.
“This is the biggest ever Ebola outbreak and a major health emergency. We must remember that more than 3,900 people have died so far and the numbers of people becoming infected is doubling every three weeks. We really must do much more to bring the epidemic under control.
“I would like to stress that this is still a difficult time for Sue Ellen, her family and friends. We would really appreciate that her privacy is respected at this time.
“Six specialist Australian Red Cross aid workers have been working incredibly hard, saving lives and helping to control the Ebola outbreak over the past months.
“Since March, more than 150 international Red Cross aid workers have been in West Africa to provide medical care and help control Ebola.
“Our thoughts are definitely with Sue Ellen and her family right now but they are also with the thousands of people in West Africa who are suffering from this terrible disease. We must do more to bring it under control.”
Donations to the Australian Red Cross Ebola Outbreak 2014 Appeal can be made at www.redcross.org.au or by calling 1800 811 700.