Scotland Confirms Its First Ebola Case, Officials Retracing Patient’s Route
Scotland confirmed its first case of Ebola. Officials placed a health worker, returning from West Africa, into isolation at the Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases on the Gartnavel General Hospital campus in Glasgow early Monday morning. The patient is in stable condition according to one of her doctors.
With Ebola eliminated in the U.S., it’s easy to forget that the epidemic is still rampaging through West Africa. The most recent death toll is 7,693 according to the CDC, and progress is difficult to judge.
Now, a female nurse from Scotland is the latest patient. According to USA Today, she was working with Save the Children in an Ebola hospital in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone has more confirmed cases of Ebola than any other country, although the death toll is higher in Liberia.
The patient’s doctor, Alisdair MacConnachie, said in a press conference that the nurse had a “good prognosis,” and is “clinically stable.” Officials are now retracing the nurse’s trail from West Africa to Scotland.
According to the Washington Post, she returned to Scotland on Sunday night after taking a plane through Casablanca, Morocco, and London’s Heathrow Airport. She then took British Airways Flight 1478 from Heathrow to Glasgow.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told reporters that there were 71 passengers on board that flight, and each with be contacted as a precautionary measure.
British Airlines also confirmed that they are cooperating with the appropriate authorities on both sides of the border, saying in a statement that the airline is “working closely with the health authorities in England and Scotland and will offer assistance with any information they require.”
The airline went on to emphasize that risks to the passengers on board are extremely low, a sentiment echoed by Minister Sturgeon in a statement to reporters.
“This is not a disease you can contract by simply sitting next to somebody who has it. Contact, personal contact with bodily fluids, is required. This patient was not displaying the kind of symptoms that would have posed a risk to other people when she was en route back to Scotland, and that, I think, is the principle source of reassurance we can give.”
The Ebola case is the first anywhere in the United Kingdom. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, other cases have popped up around the EU.
The complete statement from Scotland’s health ministry on the Ebola case, including a phone number for people who in Glasgow Airport Sunday night and are showing symptoms, can be found here.
[Image Credit: CDC Global/Wikimedia Commons]