Ebola Virus In Glasgow Female Healthcare Worker Is Diagnosed With Deadly Virus After Returning From Sierra Leone
Ebola virus in Glasgow: Female healthcare worker is diagnosed with deadly virus after returning from Sierra Leone
A female healthcare worker yesterday became the first person to be diagnosed with the deadly Ebola virus while in the UK.
The woman, believed to be a nurse, flew from Sierra Leone to Heathrow via Casablanca then transferred on to a flight to Glasgow, where she arrived late on Sunday.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said officials are now trying to find passengers and crew on both her British flights “as a precaution”.
But he added: “The risk is very low to other passengers because she wasn’t exhibiting feverish symptoms.”
She was admitted to hospital yesterday after feeling unwell. At 7.50am she was put in isolation in the specialist Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital.
Journey: Map showing the victim”s journey from Sierra Leone to Glasgow
The carer, who had helped people hit by the deadly disease in West Africa, flew on a Royal Air Maroc flight from Sierra Leone capital Freetown to Casablanca in Morocco on December 28.
She took another Royal Air Maroc flight from Casablanca to London.
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Her final journey was on BA flight 1478 from Heathrow, landing in Glasgow at 11.30pm on Sunday.
Health officials have urged the 71 passengers on the BA flight to ring a hotline set up for everyone on board.
The Scottish government said the risk to others is “extremely low” and it is thought the patient may have only had direct contact with one other person since she was diagnosed. An NHS infectious diseases consultant last night said the woman was stable – which “should translate into a good prognosis”.
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Charity Save the Children said the nurse was one of a group of NHS volunteers at the British-built Ebola treatment centre in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone, which opened in November.
It is understood the woman – not named – was screened at Sierra Leone and Heathrow but did not show symptoms of Ebola. She is due to transfer to an isolation unit in London’s Royal Free Hospital as soon as possible.
A spokesman for that hospital, where UK nurse William Pooley was successfully treated this year, said the transfer timing was not yet clear. He added: “We confirm we are expecting to receive a patient who tested positive for Ebola.”
Case: Gartnavel hospital Glasgow where the woman is being treated
Mr Hunt chaired a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee last night.
Public Health England’s medical director Professor Paul Cosford said: “For Ebola to be transmitted from one person to another, contact with blood or other body fluids is needed. The individual involved did not experience any symptoms consistent with this.
“So the risk this infection will have been passed from the affected individual to others is extremely unlikely.
“But as a precaution, PHE is following up all those in the vicinity of the passenger on the flight to the UK.”
Ebola treatment centre in Port Loko, Sierra Leone: