1 August 2014

Sierra Leone: Ebola - Athletes Seek Longer Stay in Britain

UP to 30 athletes from Sierra Leone are considering extending their stay in Glasgow amid fears over the Ebola virus.

A second Sierra Leone competitor, Samuel Morris, was Friday tested for Ebola and cleared by doctors in Glasgow.

Cyclist Moses Sesay has also tested negative for the virus.

It has also emerged another Sierra Leone cyclist, Mohamed Tholley, has vanished from the athletes' village.

Ebola has caused more than 700 deaths since February in an outbreak affecting four West African countries.

Sesay, 32, was admitted to a Glasgow hospital last week after feeling unwell and doctors tested him for various conditions, including Ebola.

The cyclist was given the all-clear and released from hospital in time to compete in the men's individual time trial at the Games on Thursday.

It later emerged that table tennis player Morris, 34, was also tested in Glasgow and given the all-clear.

Meanwhile, Sierra Leone's Commonwealth Games chef de mission, Unisa Deen Kargbo, confirmed Police Scotland had joined the search for missing cyclist, Mohamed Tholley.

He was due to compete in the men's time trial on Thursday but failed to show up for the start of the event.

Mr. Kargbo said: "He did not talk to anyone in the camp. No one knows where he is.

"Legally, Mohamed Tholley is supposed to be in the country up until September. But if he had discussed that with any member of the delegation, we would not have been much worried.

"Whether he has gone missing or whether he has moved to his family members, we haven't got a communication. Now we are trying to get in touch with some family members."

He added: "We just want to be sure first of all that he is safe, wherever he is, and we don't know if he is safe or unsafe.

"We have reported this to the Commonwealth Games organisers. The police are also trying to see if he is safe."

The cyclist's coach, Winston Crowther, believes Tholley may have vanished due to fears over the Ebola outbreak.

However, Crowther did not rule out other reasons for his disappearance, including economic factors.

Sierra Leone has declared a public health emergency after more than 200 people died from the disease.

The outbreak - the world's deadliest to date - was first reported in Guinea in February.

It then spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone, and a person who travelled from Liberia to Nigeria died of the virus shortly after arriving in Lagos last week.

Ebola kills up to 90 per cent of those infected, but patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.

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