Press release

Ebola: further healthcare worker with potential exposure brought to UK for precautionary monitoring

All appropriate public health actions taken to support individual and protect public health.

Public Health England (PHE) can confirm that a further UK healthcare worker who has had potential contact with the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone has been transported to the UK today (Monday 16 March 2015) for assessment and monitoring, and has now been discharged.

The individual has not been diagnosed with Ebola, and does not currently have any symptoms. On arrival in the UK, the healthcare worker was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for assessment. They have been discharged, and will now be monitored for the remainder of their 21 day incubation period in private accommodation, in line with PHE’s standard procedures for returning healthcare workers.

Dr Isabel Oliver, PHE’s Ebola incident lead, said:

The overall risk to the general public from Ebola remains very low. We are confident all appropriate public health actions have been taken to support this individual and to protect the public’s health. The courage shown by every volunteer, in helping those affected in West Africa and working to prevent the spread of Ebola any wider, should be recognised.

Background

  1. This individual worked in the same facility as the US healthcare worker diagnosed with Ebola in Sierra Leone, and was identified as one of their contacts. The individual was brought to the UK on an EU Medevac flight, arriving on Monday 16 March 2015.
  2. The final UK military healthcare worker identified as a contact of the MOD healthcare worker diagnosed with Ebola in Sierra Leone, was discharged from the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle on Sunday 15 March 2015. They will be monitored for the remainder of their 21 day incubation period in private accommodation in line with PHE’s standard procedures for returning healthcare workers.
  3. The UK healthcare worker transported to the UK on Thursday 12 March 2015 following potential exposure to Ebola following a needle-stick injury personal protective equipment breach remains at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
  4. PHE is responsible for monitoring the health of individuals returning to the UK from Ebola affected countries. The purpose of PHE’s Returning Worker Scheme is to enable a consistent follow-up of workers on their return to the UK, to protect their health and that of the wider public. It operates in parallel to the screening arrangements that are in place for all travellers both on exit from the affected countries and on entry at the main ports in the UK.
  5. PHE exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities. It does this through advocacy, partnerships, world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk

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