Glasgow has its first confirmed Ebola case. The patient is currently being treated in the city’s Gartnavel Hospital, and relatives, coworkers, and friends she may have come into contact with are also being investigated.
The patient is a woman who just returned from Sierra Leone on Dec. 28. All passengers on her returning flight will also be contacted and tested. She will be transferred to London’s Royal Free Hospital, which contains a high level isolation facility.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed the news and stressed to the public that the risk to the general public is miniscule and that there is no cause for alarm.
The woman has not been named but has been identified as a healthcare worker. She made her return flight to Scotland by traveling via London Heathrow Airport. She was reportedly admitted to the hospital after feeling unwell and was subsequently placed into isolation where it was confirmed she had contracted the Ebola virus.
The confirmed Ebola case in Glasgow is the first for Scotland. The virus is contracted through contact from an infected person’s blood, saliva, or feces, and is not airborne. While all precautions are being taken, officials are reiterating that risk of infection is negligible.
Despite the low risk, a Gallup poll showed that 20% of Americans were concerned of the outbreak. The U.S. has already had one Ebola death in early October. The patient was treated at Texas Presbyterian Hospital but ultimately succumbed to the disease.
According to the World Health Organization, there are over 14,000 confirmed cases of Ebola, with the majority of them concentrated in West Africa and notably the countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. As of Nov. 14, over 5,000 of the patients have died from the disease.
The Ebola case in Glasgow just further shows that anyone who comes in close contact with an infected person is at risk. However minimal the risk is, it still warrants global concern. While there is no known cure, researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Health are currently looking for a vaccine.[photo credit: Airman Magazine]
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