How worried should we be about Ebola landing in the UK?

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Monday 25 August 2014 13:00
news

TL;DR version: Not very

The arrival of British nurse, who contracted Ebola while treating patients in Sierra Leone, marks the latest outbreak's first case in the UK.

Although deadly disease is highly contagious, medical experts still remain confident the chances of an Ebola outbreak in the UK remain "very low".

The patient, thought to be William Pooley, 29, landed at RAF Northolt last night and was immediately transferred to the Royal Free Hospital in north London under police escort.

The hospital holds the only high-level isolation unit of its kind in Europe - with its own specially-designed tent that treats ventilation in to and away from the patient.

All materials coming out of the isolation unit are incinerated to remove the risk of contamination and specially-trained medical staff will be separated from the patient by plastic and rubber.

We have robust, well-developed and well-tested NHS systems for managing unusual infectious diseases when they arise, supported by a wide range of experts.

UK hospitals have a proven record of dealing with imported infectious diseases and this patient will be isolated and will receive the best care possible.

The overall risk to the public in the UK remains very low.

  • Professor John Watson, deputy chief medical officer.

More: Six reasons why it's not time to panic about Ebola in the UK

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