Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh patient tests 'negative' for Ebola

Ebola virus Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, such as blood, vomit or faeces.

A man admitted to an Edinburgh hospital after returning from west Africa has tested negative for Ebola.

NHS Lothian said the patient was screened at the Western General on Thursday after reporting a fever.

Earlier the health board said the test was being done as a precautionary measure and that the patient was being kept in isolation.

The Scottish government said a blood sample taken from the man was "found to be negative for Ebola".

It had initially been reported by a news agency that the patient was female.

In a statement posted on Twitter overnight, NHS Lothian said: "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."

A Scottish government spokesman said: "The individual was transferred by the Scottish Ambulance Service to hospital on Thursday afternoon.

"As the individual had recently returned from one of the west African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak and felt unwell, they were tested for Ebola and other infections as a precaution.

"A blood sample was taken and tested at the viral haemorrhagic fever testing facility in Edinburgh and found to be negative for Ebola."

First case

The suspected Ebola case in Edinburgh came about 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.

Image caption Pauline Cafferkey was diagnosed with Ebola in December after volunteering work in Sierra Leone

Last month a Scottish nurse, Pauline Cafferkey, from South Lanarkshire, became the first confirmed UK case of Ebola after she returned from Sierra Leone where she had been working with the charity Save the Children.

She is being treated at London's Royal Free Hospital and was in a critical condition although she has since improved.

Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, such as blood, vomit or faeces.

The virus has killed more than 8,400 people, almost all in West Africa, since it broke out a year ago.

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