* First British victim being treated at London hospital
* Pooley hailed as "hero" for his work in Sierra Leone
* Latest Ebola outbreak has killed nearly 130 health workers
By Belinda Goldsmith
LONDON, Aug 25 The family of a British volunteer
nurse repatriated from Sierra Leone after contracting the deadly
Ebola virus said on Monday he was in the best place possible for
William Pooley, 29, is the first Briton to test positive for
the hemorrhagic fever that has killed almost 1,500 people,
mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, in the deadliest
outbreak of the disease to date.
Pooley was flown home from West Africa on Sunday in a
specially adapted Royal Air Force cargo plane and transported to
an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
"Will is receiving excellent care at the Royal Free Hospital
and we could not ask for him to be in a better place," his
family said in a statement, praising the speed at which he was
brought home and asking the media to respect their privacy.
"We would like to thank all our family and friends for their
best wishes and ask everyone to remember those in other parts of
the world suffering with Ebola who do not have access to the
same healthcare facilities as Will."
British health officials say strict protective measures have
been taken to minimise the risk of transmission while
transporting and treating Pooley.
A spokeswoman from Britain's Department of Health said
British officials were trying to locate supplies of experimental
therapies being used to treat Ebola but any decision to use them
would be made by the clinicians and the patient.
Pooley's colleagues praised the bravery of the healthcare
worker, who was reported to have been working as a volunteer at
a hospice in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown since March before
volunteering at an Ebola centre in Kenema five weeks ago.
Gabriel Madiye, executive director of the Shepherd's Hospice
in Freetown, said the nurse was aware of the risks of dealing
with Ebola patients but was determined to help as other medical
staff had left, fearful of catching the virus.
"We consider him a hero. Somebody who is sacrificing to
provide care in very difficult circumstances - when our own
health workers are running away," Madiye told the BBC.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said more than 225
health workers have fallen ill and nearly 130 have lost their
lives to Ebola since the West African outbreak was detected in
the jungles of southeast Guinea in March.
Two U.S. doctors who contracted Ebola in Liberia and were
evacuated to the United States were discharged from hospital
last week after receiving treatment with an experimental drug,
ZMapp. It was not clear what role it played in their recovery.
Its U.S.-based manufacturer, Mapp Biopharmaceutical, has
said limited supplies of the drug have already been exhausted
after it was used to treat three African doctors in Liberia.
(Editing by Gareth Jones)