Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Ebola Patient Being Treated in London

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By Peter Russell
WebMD Health News

Dec. 30, 2014 -- A health care worker who recently returned to Glasgow, Scotland, from Sierra Leone in West Africa has been diagnosed with Ebola. She's been transferred to a specialized unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London for treatment.

The woman, who left Sierra Leone on Dec. 28, travelled to Glasgow via Casablanca, Morocco, and London’s Heathrow Airport.

'Low Public Risk'

Health authorities say the risk of infection to other passengers on the flights is extremely low. But Public Health England is arranging for those sitting near the affected passenger on the flight from Casablanca to London to be checked. Other passengers and the crew will be given information about symptoms of Ebola.

Health Protection Scotland is doing a similar exercise for those on board the woman's British Airways flight from London to Glasgow.

The affected health care worker had symptoms of Ebola after arriving in Glasgow. She was first treated there at Gartnavel Hospital's infectious disease unit. 

But in the U.K., anyone diagnosed with Ebola must be transferred to the high-level isolation unit in the Royal Free Hospital in London.

Earlier this year, British volunteer nurse William Pooley was successfully treated at the same unit after catching Ebola while working in Sierra Leone.

'A Proven Track Record'

In a statement, Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, says: "Our thoughts are with this individual who, along with other NHS [National Health Service] and public health colleagues, has been doing a fantastic job saving lives.

"The U.K. and Scottish governments and English and Scottish health authorities are working together to make sure that this individual receives the best possible care. U.K. hospitals have a proven track record of dealing with imported infectious diseases.

"It is important to be reassured that although a case has been identified, the overall the risk to the public continues to be low.

"We have robust, well-developed, and well-tested NHS systems for managing unusual infectious diseases when they arise, supported by a wide range of experts. The U.K. system was prepared, and reacted as planned, when this case of Ebola was identified."

source : Ebola Patient Being Treated in London

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