Ebola Update: Australia Gives $1 Million to WHO as First Confirmed British Ebola Patient Arrives in London

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Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with Ebola
Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014. Reuters

The Australian government will be donating $1 million to help the World Health Organisation fight the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and prevent it from spreading.

According to reports, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement that Australia will contribute to support countries affected by Ebola. The funds will be used to purchase the urgently needed medical supplies and equipment.

The announcement comes on top of the $20 million the Australian government has allocated for the WHO in 2014 and 2015.

Bishop has also urged Australians to refrain from traveling to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. For those who are currently in these countries, the foreign minister strongly advised them to leave while commercial flights are still available.

She reiterated that the risk of Ebola reaching Australia is "very low" despite the high fatality rate of the disease. She said the country's border protection and infection control policies remain within WHO's standards and recommendations.

Meanwhile, a British healthcare worker, who was found to be infected with Ebola while taking care of patients in Sierra Leone, was flown to London last Aug. 24 for doctors to save his life.

The 29-year-old worker known only by the name of William was believed to have caught the virus while caring for his patients in a hospital. He worked in the same hospital where 15 nurses have already died from the disease, reports said.

William is the first confirmed case of a British citizen infected with Ebola in the recent outbreak in West Africa. According to his colleagues, he had "begged" them to allow him to take care of Ebola patients despite knowing the risk of infection.

He reportedly volunteered to work with Ebola patients after local doctors left the hospital for fear of falling ill. The British nurse told his friends it was "his calling" to help the sick.

The Royal Air Force flew William to London where he was taken to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead for immediate treatment. He was isolated in a plastic tent designed to treat contagious diseases.

Reports said it was not clear how doctors will treat William since supplies of the drug found to have cured Ebola patients have run out.

The British Department of Health declared William not "seriously unwell" although Ebola patients were known to have deteriorating health regardless of their appearance.  

Reports said the Ebola virus has killed more than 1,400 people in West Africa. 

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