Ebola in UK: Patient being tested for deadly virus at Swindon's Great Western Hospital

Anyone recently returned from a risk countries with viral symptoms is tested as a precaution

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The Independent Online

A person who has recently visited West Africa is to undergo Ebola tests in Swindon after being taken to hospital in isolation.

The South West Ambulance Service’s specialist hazardous area response team transported the unnamed patient to the Great Western Hospital this afternoon, where he or she will be kept in isolation.

A spokesperson for Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirmed it was caring for "an individual with a history of travel to West Africa", stressing that the Ebola test was a precautionary measure.

"The Trust is awaiting the results of the sample, which is being screened for a variety of infectious diseases prevalent in the affected countries, one of which is Ebola," she added.

"Local people, other patients or visitors to the hospital should not be concerned. It is important to remember that contact with blood or other body fluids is needed for Ebola to be transmitted from one person to another.

"As a precaution the patient is being kept in isolation until blood test results are available."

The Great Western Hospital is following national guidance for possible Ebola cases and staff, who have undergone specialist training, are using personal protective equipment.

Two British patients have been tested for Ebola in recent days, with both returning a negative result.

One patient was examined for possible symptoms at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, Cornwall, and the other - a female health worker - at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Both had recently returned from countries affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has so far killed almost 8,000 people.

The latest tests come as after Pauline Cafferkey’s condition at the Royal Free Hospital in London deteriorated to “critical”.

Pauline-cafferkey-PA.jpg
Pauline Cafferkey contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone

The Scottish NHS nurse became the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the UK on Monday after she returned to Glasgow from Sierra Leone, where she had been volunteering in a government-funded clinic.

A brief statement on the hospital's website today said: “The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust is sorry to announce that the condition of Pauline Cafferkey has gradually deteriorated over the past two days and is now critical.”

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