Updated: Tuesday, 23rd October 2018 @ 5:08pm

Ebola outbreak: Patient tested at Manchester hospital after travel to West Africa

Ebola outbreak: Patient tested at Manchester hospital after travel to West Africa

| By Sian Broderick

A patient ‘with a history of travel to West Africa’ is being tested for Ebola at North Manchester General Hospital.

Public Health England confirmed a patient is being kept in isolation as a precaution until blood test results are available.

Although no further information is being released at this stage, authorities say they are taking appropriate actions to ‘protect the public’s health’.

A PHE spokesperson told MM: “Public Health England can confirm it has received a sample for Ebola testing relating to a patient presently at North Manchester General Hospital with a history of travel to West Africa.

“Ebola is considered unlikely but testing is being done as a precaution, as is our usual practice in these circumstances. We are confident that all appropriate actions are being taken to protect the public's health.

“It is not possible for PHE to provide any details on individuals being tested prior to the test result being known.”

Earlier this week doctors announced that NHS nurse Pauline Cafferkey, who was diagnosed with Ebola in December, was no longer critically ill.

The 39-year-old received experimental treatment using drugs and plasma at the Royal Free Hospital in North London after contracting the disease in Sierra Leone.

Almost 4,000 people in West Africa have lost their lives to the deadly disease since the Ebola outbreak in February 2014.

First discovered in 1976, the highly infectious disease is spread through contact with bodily fluids.

The World Health Organisation previously confirmed that there are five different strains of Ebola and have described Ebola as ‘one of the world's most virulent diseases.’

Speaking to MM in October, Dr Rosemary McCann, the Local Director of Health Protection in Greater Manchester for Public Health England, explained that Manchester’s health care facilities have the necessary measures in place to handle an Ebola outbreak.

“The risk of Ebola in England remains very low,” she said.

“Through existing emergency preparedness planning and multiagency working, PHE in Greater Manchester is working alongside key partners including NHS England and the ambulance service to ensure there are robust plans in place should a patient with suspected Ebola present to health services.”

And PHE has remained in constant communication with medical practitioners in the UK to ensure they are prepared should an outbreak occur.

Dr McCann added: “National guidance has been prepared for GPs and hospitals across the country on identifying and managing potential cases.”

Image courtesy of Mikey, with thanks.