Hospital testing patient for Ebola

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Published: Friday 16th January 2015 by The News Editor

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A patient is undergoing hospital tests after returning from Ebola-hit West Africa.

The patient, who according to reports is a woman, is being screened for infection at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital.

The person was admitted to the infectious diseases unit after reporting a raised temperature, NHS Lothian said.

Melanie Johnson, director of unscheduled care at the health board, said: “A patient who recently returned to Scotland from West Africa has been admitted to our Regional Infectious Diseases Unit (RIDU) at the Western General Hospital after they reported a raised temperature.

“As a precautionary measure, and in line with agreed procedures, the patient will be screened for possible infections and will be kept in isolation.

“We have robust systems in place to manage patients with suspected infectious diseases and follow agreed and tested national guidelines.”

The suspected Ebola case in Edinburgh comes around 24 hours after Northampton General Hospital said it was treating a possible case.

The hospital has since confirmed that the female patient, who has a history of travel to West Africa, tested negative for the deadly virus.

A Scottish Government spokesman said tonight: “We are aware that, as a precautionary measure, NHS Lothian has admitted a patient who has returned from West Africa.

“In line with agreed procedures, the patient will be screened for possible infections including Ebola and will be kept in isolation, again as a precaution.

“Scotland has a robust health protection surveillance system which monitors global disease outbreaks and ensures that we are fully prepared to respond to such situations.”

Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey is still being treated for Ebola at the London’s Royal Free Hospital.

The volunteer from Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, is in a stable condition after being taken off the critical list this week.

She remains in an isolation unit after contracting the disease while helping patients in Sierra Leone with Save the Children.

The charity is investigating how Ms Cafferkey came to be infected.

A sample from the Northampton Hospital patient was sent for testing to Public Health England (PHE), which said it was ”usual practice” to investigate all possible causes of the woman’s illness, after she initially tested negative for malaria.

A PHE spokesman said: ”It is important to remember that the infection can only be transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids – such as blood, vomit or faeces – of an infected person.

”We have advised all front-line medical practitioners and NHS call handlers to be alert to signs and symptoms of Ebola in those returning from affected areas and following such advice we would expect to see an increase in testing.”

Published: Friday 16th January 2015 by The News Editor

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