An ambulance driver in Guinea who contracted the Ebola virus while transporting patients to hospital has fully recovered and was discharged on Monday.
Amadu Camara was infected with the virus when a Red Cross doctor treating an Ebola patient did not wash his hands before touching the ambulance’s steering wheel.
“It was a Red Cross staff that brought an Ebola patient into my ambulance. The Red Cross doctor forgot to wash his hands after loading the patient and touched my steering wheel. I came in afterwards and he said we should go because he’d loaded the sick person. So I touched my steering wheel and scratched my eyes. That’s when I was infected but I didn’t know,” said Camara, who works at the ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) Ebola treatment centre in N’zerekore, south eastern Guinea.
Drivers are not usually present when doctors load Ebola patients onto ambulances, and the vehicles are supposed to be sanitised at every stage to prevent the spread of the disease.
When Camara started to feel unwell a few days later, he went to his hospital in N’zerekore, some 900 kilometres (559 miles) from the capital, Conakry.
He was then sent to hospital Gueckedou, southern Guinea, the first Ebola treatment centre in Guinea run by medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, where he made a full recovery.
Camara had to test negative for Ebola four times before hospital staff were happy to discharge him.
As he left the hospital, he was washed with chlorine and given new clothes before rejoining the community.
Ebola continues to spread in Guinea, especially in the region of N’zerekore.
Up to 109 cases were recorded nationwide between 1 and November 6, and more than 22 cases were in N’zerekore alone, prompting authorities to declare an “emergency situation” in the area.
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