99 tested for Ebola in England: PHE

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Published: Monday 24th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Nearly 100 people have been tested for Ebola in hospitals across England this year.

Public Health England (PHE) revealed that 99 people have so far undergone tests for the deadly virus which has claimed more than 5,000 lives across west Africa.

In a Freedom of Information response to the Press Association, PHE said the ages of patients tested between January 21 and November 9 ranged from “under five” to 75 years old.

Most of the people tested for Ebola had visited west Africa, PHE added.

A PHE spokesman said one person in England had tested positive for the disease and the case was “in the public domain”.

Nurse William Pooley, 29, co ntracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone in August before getting the all-clear following treatment at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

He returned to Sierra Leone last month to continue treating patients in an Ebola isolation unit run by UK medical staff.

PHE refused to provide a breakdown of the number of men and women tested, the locations of hospitals where tests were carried out or the African countries visited by the patients.

A spokesman said: “If PHE disclosed all the information requested we would be releasing enough information to identify the individuals tested due to deductive disclosure. PHE has a duty to ensure that this does not occur.”

Last week, PHE confirmed that a hospital patient who underwent testing for Ebola was not infected with the virus. The man was tested ”as a precaution”, PHE said, after he reportedly visited an NHS walk-in centre in Hereford.

Meanwhile, a woman with a history of travel to west Africa tested negative for Ebola at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, earlier this month after complaining of a fever.

Published: Monday 24th November 2014 by The News Editor

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