The government of Scotland announced on Dec. 29 that a confirmed case of Ebola had been diagnosed in the city of Glasgow. The patient is a volunteer health care worker who returned from Sierra Leone last night about 11:30 pm local time. The patient became ill and went to a local hospital for treatment. The Scots state that the patient was placed into isolation at 7:50 am.
Public Health England describes the patient’s multiple flights as: Freetown to Casablanca, Casablanca to London and London to Glasgow. The passengers and crew of the Casablanca to London and London to Glasgow flights are being contacted by public health authorities in the United Kingdom as a precaution. The risk of infection for those individuals is, however, considered extremely low.
A UPI story on Dec. 29 identifies the Ebola patient as a female, who was admitted to the Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow Monday morning. Current plans are to transfer her to the Royal Free Hospital in London as soon as possible.
The Royal Free Hospital is where the UK’s first Ebola patient, Will Pooley, was successfully treated earlier this fall. The hospital states that the latest patient will be treated in a high level isolation unit at that facility.
As Western nations responded to the Ebola epidemic, the United Kingdom elected to assume primary responsibility for foreign aid for Sierra Leone, a former colony. As of Dec. 15, the British military had constructed six Ebola treatment centers and is supporting 882 beds in a variety of settings.
Britain has also constructed three new laboratories, and conducted a wide variety of training and community outreach. 5 Armoured Medical Regiment deployed 40 personnel and 4 Armoured Medical Regiment deployed 39 personnel to conduct health care worker training in Sierra Leone from Oct. 21 through Dec. 16. Over 4,000 health care workers received training in that time. The two units also conducted similar training for soldiers of the Army of Sierra Leone and for prison officials from that nation.
On Dec. 20, the UK Ministry of Defence announced the departure of 100 regulars as well as reserve personnel from all three military services for Sierra Leone. Accompanying them are Canadian forces. The personnel will relieve 22 Field Hospital which has been staffing and maintaining a 12 bed Ebola treatment unit for health care workers who contract Ebola. The UK has about 800 military personnel deployed to Sierra Leone for the Ebola mission.
CBC reports that the Canadian military has deployed about 40 personnel to Sierra Leone. They will be working with British forces at the Ebola treatment unit for health care workers.
The patient in Glasgow is being reported by multiple media sources as a volunteer nurse from the UK’s National Health Service. It is believed she had been working at the Ebola Treatment Centre at Kerry Town, Sierra Leone, which is being operated by the international charity Save the Children. She is not a member of the military.
The latest Ebola data from the government of Sierra Leone is as of Dec. 28. They report a total of 9,409 suspected, probable and confirmed cases of Ebola. The government also reports 2,732 Ebola deaths. There have been 1,696 patients with Ebola who have survived their illness and been discharged.