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Government steps up care over deadly bug

Second health care worker does not have ebola virus

EbolaA second healthcare worker being tested for ebola has not contracted the disease, it was confirmed tonight.

Earlier, the Scottish nurse who was the first person diagnosed with the deadly ebola virus in Britain was named as Pauline Cafferkey who works for NHS Lanarkshire.

Originally from Cowdenbeath, she has been transferred from Glasgow to a London hospital where she will be treated in an isolation unit.

Ms Cafferkey, who arrived in Glasgow on a flight from Sierra Leone, arrived this morning at the Royal Free hospital which is Britain’s designated treatment centre for the disease.

She flew into Scotland at 11.30pm on Sunday on a British Airways flight via Casablanca in Morocco and London’s Heathrow. Her condition was confirmed last night and the Scottish Government said the risk to others is “extremely low”.

Holyrood issued a statement yesterday that a full infectious diseases procedure had been put in place. Ms Cafferkey was isolated and received treatment in the specialist Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases on the Gartnavel Hospital campus.

She was admitted to hospital after feeling unwell and was placed into isolation at 7.50am. All possible contacts with the patient continue to be 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 government said the risk to others is considered extremely low.

Ms Sturgeon 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.

The government said in a statement: “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

Ms Sturgeon said: “Scotland has been preparing for this possibility from the beginning of the outbreak in West Africa and I am confident that we are well prepared.

“We have the robust procedures in place to identify cases rapidly. Our health service also has the expertise and facilities to ensure that confirmed Ebola cases such as this are contained and isolated effectively minimising any potential spread of the disease.

“Scotland’s NHS has proved it is well able to cope with infectious diseases in the past, such as swine flu, and I am confident we will be able to respond effectively again.”

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