Woman Tests Negative For Ebola

16 January 2015, 06:17

A patient admitted to hospital after returning from Ebola-hit west Africa has tested negative for the killer virus.

The patient, who, according to reports, is a woman, was being screened for infection at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital after reporting a raised temperature, NHS Lothian said.

But the hospital confirmed the negative test on Twitter, saying: "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.''

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

The suspected Ebola case in Edinburgh comes around 24 hours after Northampton General Hospital said it was treating a possible case.

The hospital has since confirmed that the female patient, who has a history of travel to west Africa, tested negative for the deadly virus.

Earlier, a Scottish Government spokesman said: "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.

A sample from the Northampton Hospital patient was sent for testing to Public Health England (PHE), which said it was ''usual practice"  to investigate all possible causes of the woman's illness, after she initially tested negative for malaria.

A PHE spokesman said: ''It is important to remember that the infection can only be transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids - such as blood, vomit or faeces - of an infected person.

''We have advised all front-line medical practitioners and NHS call handlers to be alert to signs and symptoms of Ebola in those returning from affected areas and following such advice we would expect to see an increase in testing.''

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