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Ebola Screening to be Put Under Review

December 31, 2014
Public Health

ebola maskPublic Health England is to review its screening procedures for Ebola after the first case of the virus on British soil was diagnosed earlier this week. Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey, a community nurse from Blantyre, Lanarkshire, was given the all-clear on her return from Sierra Leone despite telling doctors at Heathrow she feared she may have the virus.

Health officials have since claimed she passed six more tests before being allowed to board an internal British Airways flight to Glasgow. Attempts are now being made to trace the 100 passengers who took the same flights.

Whilst the risk to the general public is extremely low, Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies admitted that procedures will need to be reviewed. Commenting on why Ms Cafferkey, who had been working for charity Save the Children, was allowed to board an internal flight, she said: “She was cleared to travel because she did not have a significantly raised temperature. It does raise a question about whether we should be more precautionary.”

Two more healthcare workers who were tested for Ebola after returning to the UK in the past week have both been given the all-clear. Latest figures from the World Health Organisation suggest the number of people infected with the virus has now passed the 20,000 mark.