Doctors on alert over ebola

Breaking News
Breaking News

Doctors across Derbyshire have been told to look out for signs of the deadly ebola virus among patients.

The incurable bug – which causes bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose – has killed more than 700 people in West Africa.

The Government said last week that the disease posed a threat to the UK but stressed it had not yet been detected here.

Dr Brian McCloskey, an expert at Public Health England, said: “The continuing increase in ebola cases in West Africa is a cause for concern as it indicates the outbreak is not yet under control.

The risk to UK travellers and people working in these countries of contracting ebola is very low but we have alerted UK medical practitioners about the situation and requested they remain vigilant for unexplained illness in those who have visited the affected area.

“People who have returned from affected areas who have a sudden onset of symptoms such as fever, headache, sore throat and general malaise should immediately seek medical assistance – but it is important to stress that no cases of imported ebola have ever been reported in the UK and the risk of a traveller going to West Africa and contracting the disease remains very low since it is transmitted by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person,” he added.

All schools in Liberia have been shut down to try to stop the spread of the bug and some communities in West Africa have been placed into quarantine.

Foreign secretary Philip Hammond said the Government was taking the current outbreak – the world’s deadliest to date – and the threat to the UK “very seriously”.

The virus kills up to 90 per cent of those infected but patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.

According to figures released by the World Health Organisation on Friday, there have been 729 deaths out of 1,300 cases. Fifty-seven of those deaths occurred over a four-day period.