Healthcare workers pay heavy price in Ebola fight

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Healthcare workers pay heavy price in Ebola fight

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As the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola continues to spread, frontline workers are being shown how best to prevent the spread of the virus – and protect themselves.

In Brussels, medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières is training its own staff and members of other non-governmental organisations to safely tackle one of the deadliest diseases known to man.

More than 240 healthcare workers have developed the disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. Over 120 have died.

Getting proper equipment like masks and gloves to where it is needed is a challenge.

One vital cargo of supplies, worth thousands of euros, was being sent by disaster response groups in Fort Worth, in the US state of Texas.

“With Ebola being transmitted by bodily fluids, you know this protective gear is critical and so we are working very hard to get it there,” said Steven Smith of Airlink, which provides humanitarian relief by connecting non-profit organisations with commercial airlines to provide flights for response teams and aid cargo.

A British volunteer nurse, infected while working in Sierra Leone, has taken the experimental drug ZMapp and is “in good spirits” according to the London hospital where he is being treated.

The World Health Organisation says it has shut a laboratory in Sierra Leone after another health worker there was infected.

At least 1,427 people have died and 2,615 have been infected since Ebola was detected deep in the forests of southeastern Guinea in March.