Man tests negative for Ebola in Edinburgh

The man was tested at the Western General. Picture: Comp
The man was tested at the Western General. Picture: Comp
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A MAN admitted to Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital after returning from Ebola-hit West Africa has tested negative for the killer virus.

The patient, from Auchtermuchty in Fife, was screened for infection after reporting a raised temperature.

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But today NHS Lothian said the test showed he did not have the disease.

A statement said: “The patient admitted to the Regional Infectious Diseases Unit at the Western General Hospital yesterday has tested negative for Ebola.

“We have robust systems in place to manage patients with suspected infectious diseases and staff follow tested national guidelines.”

A Special Operations Recovery Team ambulance was reportedly sent to collect the man yesterday afternoon as specialists donned full-body protection suits while they accompanied him to the vehicle.

He is believed to have been categorised as a “high-possibility Ebola case” – which means he returned from Sierra Leone, Guinea or Liberia within the last three weeks.

Melanie Johnson, director of unscheduled care at the health board, said the test was done as “a precautionary measure” and the patient was kept in isolation.

In a statement today, the Scottish Government said: “The individual was transferred by the Scottish Ambulance Service to hospital on Thursday afternoon. As the individual had recently returned from one of the West African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak and felt unwell, they were tested for Ebola and other infections as a precaution.

“A blood sample was taken and tested at the viral haemorrhagic fever testing facility in Edinburgh and found to be negative for Ebola.

“Scotland has a robust health protection surveillance system which monitors global disease outbreaks and ensures that we are fully prepared to respond to such situations.”

Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey is still being treated for Ebola at the London’s Royal Free Hospital. The volunteer from Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, is in a stable condition after being taken off the critical list this week.

She remains in an isolation unit after contracting the disease while helping patients in Sierra Leone with Save the Children. The charity is investigating how Ms Cafferkey came to be infected.

Meanwhile, an Australian nurse treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone has been airlifted to the UK for observation, her government said.

The nurse, reported to be a woman, has not been diagnosed with Ebola and was transferred to Britain following what Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said was a “low risk clinical incident”.

A statement from the DFAT said: “An Australian nurse will undergo observation in the United Kingdom following a low-risk clinical incident at the Australian-managed Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone.

“The nurse was transferred to the United Kingdom consistent with the guarantees secured by the Australian government as a condition to establishing the treatment centre.”