Via SBS News.com.au, an April 25 report: You need to be prepared: Aussie doctor fighting Ebola epidemic. Click through for two videos. Excerpt:
Having spent a considerable amount of time in Sri Lanka, her ancestral homeland, Kamalini Lokuge appreciates, perhaps more than most, how lucky she is to be Australian.
It is that appreciation of her good fortune that drives her to take risks that many others would baulk at.
Kamalini is an epidemiologist, and has just returned from working on the latest Ebola outbreak in Guinea.
A volunteer for Medecins Sans Frontieres, it was her fourth visit to an Ebola infected area.
"We're very lucky in Australia, says Kamalini. "Every time I come back from an outbreak I think we have everything here and part of acknowledging how lucky we are, for me at least, is to help those who don't have as much."
Although prompt treatment can help, Ebola kills nearly 9 in 10 people who contract the virus. The current outbreak in Guinea is the worst in 7 years. At the time of writing it has killed 142 people.
The doctors and nurses who treat those infected in the specially established isolation units in Guinea wear "Hazmat"- type suits, but not Kamalini. It is her job to map the spread of the disease, to track down families who might have come into contact with an infected person, to win their trust. Turning up looking like an astronaut would do her no favours.
"If you are going there to retrieve a sick person you need to be prepared, take appropriate protective equipment but Ebola is not a disease like the flu, it is not transmitted by air and if you maintain safe distance from a patient then you are safe to speak with them."
The initial symptoms can resemble malaria and in the early days of an outbreak it is often the carers who succumb, passing on the disease to nurses and doctors. Often there are very few medical professionals still around by the time people like Kamalini arrive.