Healthcare worker in UK has Ebola

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Published: Monday 29th December 2014 by The News Editor

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A healthcare worker who returned from Sierra Leone last night has been diagnosed with Ebola and is receiving treatment in Glasgow.

The patient flew back via Casablanca and London Heathrow before arriving at Glasgow Airport at around 11.30pm on a British Airways flight.

The health worker was admitted to hospital early this morning after feeling unwell and was placed into isolation at 7.50am.

A government statement said NHS Scotland infectious diseases procedures had been put into effect and the patient was receiving treatment in the specialist Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases on the Gartnavel Hospital campus, Glasgow.

The patient was said to be a healthcare worker who had been helping to combat the disease in west Africa.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “All possible contacts with the patient are now being investigated and anyone deemed to be at risk will be contacted and closely monitored. However, having been diagnosed in the very early stages of the illness, the risk to others is considered extremely low.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee (SGoRR) to ensure all necessary steps are being taken and has also spoken to Prime Minister David Cameron.

According to UK and Scottish protocol for anyone diagnosed with Ebola, the patient will be transferred to the high level isolation unit in the Royal Free hospital, London, as soon as possible. This is where the facilities, staff and systems are in place to ensure the best quality and safest care.

While public health experts have emphasised that the risks are negligible, a telephone helpline has been set up for anyone who was on the Heathrow to Glasgow flight last night. The number is 08000 858531.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Our first thoughts at this time must be with the patient diagnosed with Ebola and their friends and family. I wish them a speedy recovery.

“Scotland has been preparing for this possibility from the beginning of the outbreak in west Africa and I am confident that we are well prepared.

“We have the robust procedures in place to identify cases rapidly. Our health service also has the expertise and facilities to ensure that confirmed Ebola cases such as this are contained and isolated effectively minimising any potential spread of the disease.

“Scotland’s NHS has proved it is well able to cope with infectious diseases in the past, such as swine flu, and I am confident we will be able to respond effectively again.”

Published: Monday 29th December 2014 by The News Editor

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