LONDON – A female health care worker who has just returned from Sierra Leone has been diagnosed with Ebola and is being treated in a Glasgow hospital, Scottish authorities said Monday.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called it the first case of Ebola ever diagnosed inside the United Kingdom.
The patient flew to Glasgow via Casablanca and London’s Heathrow Airport, arriving late Sunday, the Scottish government said. The health care worker was admitted to a hospital Monday morning after developing a fever.
Sturgeon said the risk to the public is “extremely low to the point of negligible” and that pre-planned steps would be taken to protect the public.
“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,” she said, adding that the patient is “stable” and would soon be transferred to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
She said the patient, who is not being identified, had traveled on an internal British Airways flight from London to Glasgow on Sunday night and that the other 71 passengers and staff on that flight will be contacted.
But she said the patient was not yet showing symptoms at the time and that people in that stage of the disease are much less contagious than they are after they exhibit symptoms, which include a high fever, diarrhea and vomiting.
Since an Ebola outbreak began in December 2013 in the West African country of Guinea, there have been more than 20,000 cases and more than 7,800 deaths, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
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