Scottish Nurse Becomes First Person Diagnosed with Ebola in UK

Health | December 30, 2014, Tuesday // 18:32|  views

The new British Ebola treatment facility in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone. The Scottish nurse who has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus, was working at the newly built hospital in Kerry town. Photo: EPA

The Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey, who had volunteered in West Africa, became the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United Kingdom.

Cafferkey was admitted for a specialist treatment at a hospital in London on Tuesday, the Guardian reports.

British Prime Minister David Cameron ensured that safety measures are working well and there is low risk to the public.

Cafferkey was one of 30 National Health Service (NHS) volunteers to help treat Ebola patients at specialist hospitals in Sierra Leone in November.

Cafferkey becomes the second Ebola patient to be treated in the UK after the British nurse William Pooley, who contracted the virus in August and underwent successful treatment at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

Cafferkey flew from Sierra Leone via Casablanca and London Heathrow to Glasgow on Sunday.

Once diagnosed with Ebola, she was transferred by military aircraft from Glasgow to London on Tuesday.

Health authorities in Scotland have established that Cafferkey has contracted the virus after she has arrived home from her journey.

Health officials are trying to find the remaining 71 passengers that were together with Cafferkey on the domestic flight from London Heathrow to Glasgow.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the risk of the virus spreading to other people is extremely low, as Cafferkey had been cleared by screening in Sierra Leone and at Heathrow airport.

However Dr Martin Deahl, who sat next to Cafferkey on the flight from Sierra Leone, criticised the testing facilities at Heathrow airport as inadequate and increasing the chances of cross-infection.

The medical director of Public Health England Paul Cosford assured that the checks on the other passengers were carried out as precautionary measures and the risk of transmission was low.

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Tags: Ebola, virus, UK, Scotland, Sierra Leone, volunteers, nurse


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