A healthcare worker in Scotland, diagnosed with Ebola, was working with a children’s charity in West Africa, it has emerged.
Save the Children confirmed earlier tonight the NHS healthcare worker, who is receiving treatment in Glasgow, had been working with the charity at the Ebola Treatment Centre at Kerry Town, Sierra Leone, prior to her return to the country.
The patient flew back via Casablanca and London Heathrow before arriving at Glasgow Airport at around 11.30pm on a British Airways flight.
The health worker was admitted to hospital early this morning after feeling unwell and was placed into isolation at 7.50am.
A government statement said NHS Scotland infectious diseases procedures had been put into effect and the patient was receiving treatment in the specialist Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases on the Gartnavel Hospital campus, Glasgow.
She is in a stable condition but will be transferred to specialist facilities in London as soon as possible.
Michael von Bertele, Save the Children humanitarian director, said:
“We can confirm that an NHS health worker working with Save the Children at the Ebola Treatment Centre at Kerry Town, Sierra Leone, has tested positive for Ebola. Our thoughts are with the individual, their family and colleagues at this difficult time. We wish them a speedy recovery.
“Save the Children is working closely with the UK Government, Scottish Government and Public Health England to look into the circumstances surrounding the case.”
Health officials are tracing the 71 other people who were on the British Airways flight from London to Glasgow with the woman.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “All possible contacts with the patient are now being investigated and anyone deemed to be at risk will be contacted and closely monitored. However, having been diagnosed in the very early stages of the illness, the risk to others is considered extremely low.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee (SGoRR) to ensure all necessary steps are being taken and has also spoken to Prime Minister David Cameron.
According to UK and Scottish protocol for anyone diagnosed with Ebola, the patient will be transferred to the high level isolation unit in the Royal Free hospital, London, as soon as possible. This is where the facilities, staff and systems are in place to ensure the best quality and safest care.
While public health experts have emphasised that the risks are negligible, a telephone helpline has been set up for anyone who was on the Heathrow to Glasgow flight last night. The number is 08000 858531.