2nd medical team sent to Sierra Leone

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2nd medical team sent to Sierra Leone

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Tuesday that it has dispatched a second round of officials to support the Ebola emergency response team in Sierra Leone.

Their deployment comes after a Korea medical worker was evacuated to Berlin on Jan. 3 following fears that the staff member may have been exposed to the virus.

Oh Young-ju, the director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s development cooperation bureau, confirmed Monday that the medical worker “passed the critical incubation period as of today,” two weeks since the incident.

She added that the worker’s third blood test came back negative. Ebola’s incubation period ranges from two to 21 days, and symptoms often start six to 12 days after exposure.

Seoul plans to send 30 medical staff members total to Sierra Leone. The first round of 10 health care workers has been working there since late December, while the final group of 11 will be sent next month.

The group of officials from the Foreign Ministry and Koica departed from Incheon International Airport on Tuesday. They will work with the United Nations Development Program to support the Korean medical team and coordinate communication with NGOs, the center and Sierra Leone’s government.

BY SARAH KIM [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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