Public Health England (PHE) can confirm that, as a highly precautionary measure, a volunteer who had potential contact with the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone, has been transported to the UK on 16 January 2015 for assessment and monitoring. An additional volunteer, who had potential contact in a separate incident, also returned on 17 January.
The individuals have not been diagnosed with Ebola, do not currently have any symptoms, and their risk of developing the infection remains low. On arrival in the UK, the arrangements are for these individuals to be initially assessed in hospital and subsequently monitored for any symptoms for the remainder of their 21 day incubation periods, in line with standard procedures for returning workers.
Dr Jenny Harries, regional director for PHE, said:
“The risk to the public posed by these and indeed any of the returning workers is extremely low. We are confident that all appropriate public health actions have been taken, and will continue to be taken, to support these individuals and to protect the public’s health.
“It’s important to remember, in choosing to volunteer, that these individuals have taken a courageous step not only to help those affected in West Africa, but also prevent the spread of Ebola any wider.”
Source: Public Health England (PHE)