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NHSGGC Statement on Ebola

August 01, 2014 10:29 AM

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There have been no positive cases and we are not reporting negative testing of Ebola.

The symptoms of Ebola are so general such as fever, aches and pains and/or sickness that reporting the testing for Ebola or any other virus which includes these symptoms is meaningless.

As Health Protection Scotland have already said Ebola is a viral disease usually contracted through close contact with body fluids of an infectious case, not through casual skin to skin contact.

The incubation period for Ebola virus infection normally ranges from 2 to 21 days.

People, especially relatives and health care workers in developing countries who have been involved in the care of Ebola patients and who have been unable to maintain a sufficiently high standard of infection control precautions and personal protection from contact with body fluids, are at particular risk of infection.

Health care personnel in the UK have been reminded to consider the possibility of Ebola infection in people who have arrived in the UK from a country affected by the current outbreak (Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone) and who have suggestive symptoms.

These symptoms include fever (a high temperature of more than 38 degrees celsius) headache, sore throat and general tiredness/weakness (referred to as malaise).

Anyone who presents with such symptoms and has a history of travel from an affected country within the previous 21 days, would be managed as a possible Ebola case. When admitted to hospital, they would be managed according to a standard set of precautions. These would consist of being placed in a single room with private bathroom facilities to limit the number of people who have contact with the patient and to allow a high standard of infection control precautions to be taken by health care staff. In addition, staff would take routine personal precautions such as wearing protective gloves, gowns and if necessary eye wear to limit the risk of contact with potentially infected body fluids, until such time as test results were found to be negative, so eliminating the possibility of a viral haemorrhagic fever such as Ebola.

Investigation of patients with fever illness also routinely involves testing for other possible illnesses, especially malaria, which is much more likely to be cause of such illnesses in travellers returning to the UK from tropical countries.

To date in Scotland, all patients having relevant symptoms and having a history of recent travel to an affected country who have been tested for viral haemorrhagic fever have been negative for Ebola.


For further media information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected].

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