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Ebola Scare As Woman From Sierra Leone Held At Scottish Immigration Removal Centre Undergoes Tests For Killer Disease After Falling ill
Date Posted: 16/Aug/2014
 
. Woman was detained at Dungavel Detention Centre in South Lanarkshire
. She has been taken to hospital where she has undergone tests for Ebola
. NHS Lanarkshire say it is investigating case as a 'precautionary measure'
 
A woman from Sierra Leone being held at a Scottish immigration removal centre has undergone tests for the killer Ebola disease after she fell ill. The woman was detained at Dungavel Detention Centre in South Lanarkshire before being taken to hospital where doctors carried out tests.
 
A spokesman for NHS Lanarkshire said: 'We are currently investigating a possible case of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (Ebola). 'This is a precautionary measure and it would appear at this stage to be highly unlikely the patient will test positive for Ebola.'
 
It is understood she is being treated at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire. Limited numbers of staff will be allowed contact with the patient, who is likely to be transferred to a highly-infectious disease ward somewhere in the UK. The detention centre near the town of Strathaven is used as a holding unit for failed asylum seekers waiting deportation. Officials from the Home Office have now suspended the detention or release of people from the unit during the investigation to islolate the risk if it is positive.
 
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We do not comment on operational matters.’  Health officials across the UK have been alerted to the situation and a full emergency plan will be put into action if the patient tests positive.
 
It comes as a group of international doctors today admitted they did not know the true scale of the deaths from the deadly outbreak. 
 
Doctors Without Borders (Medecin Sans Frontieres) resembled the outbreak in west Africa to a state of war and said that the epidemic could last another six months.  Their warning follows an announcement by a World Health Organisation official, who claimed that Ebola treatment centres are filling up faster than they can be provided in west Africa.
 
WHO spokesman in Geneva Gregory Hartl said: 'The flood of patients into every newly opened treatment center is evidence that the numbers aren't keeping up.' The Organization also said today that the death toll has risen to 1,145, the World Health Organization, as 76 new deaths were reported in the two days to August 13 in the four West African nations affected by the epidemic.
 
The U.N. health agency said that a total of 152 confirmed, probable and suspected new cases of the deadly hemorrhagic fever were reported in the two day period in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, bringing the total for the outbreak to 2,127. 
 
Joanne Liu, president of Medecins Sans Frontieres, said the pace of outbreaks in Guinea had slowed but other countries, particularly Liberia, now had to be the focus of efforts to contain the disease. She said: ‘If we don’t stabilise Liberia, we will never stabilise the region. In terms of timeline, we’re not talking in terms of weeks, we’re talking in terms of months ... at least I would say six months, and I’m being ... very optimistic.’
 
Her warning came after the World Health Organization said the toll of 1,069 deaths and a further 900 sufferers could ‘vastly underestimate the magnitude’ of the outbreak.
 
The first European victim of Ebola, Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, died on Monday - five days after being airlifted from Liberia to Madrid for expert care. The 75-year-old's condition was described as stable on arrival in Spain and it is thought he was given ZMapp, an experimental drug credited with the ‘miraculous’ recovery of two American aid workers. His body was cremated to prevent the virus spreading.
 
By GEMMA MULLIN 
MAILONLINE

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