A woman is under quarantine at her home in Cardiff after fears were raised that she may have been exposed to the deadly Ebola virus on a recent trip to West Africa.
Although the woman is not exhibiting any symptoms of the haemorrhagic fever that has so far claimed 887 lives in countries in West Africa, she has voluntarily confined herself to her home as a precaution.
A medical team with appropriate protection will visit monitor her daily, watching closely for any signs of infection; the maximum incubation time for the virus to present itself is 21 days, so that is the length of her self-imposed isolation.
A spokeswoman for Public Health Wales said: “It is a watch and wait scenario at the minute. We cannot even test the individual at this stage because you can only test when symptoms show themselves. But even then we have to be careful as it could be the cold or the flu. The disease only becomes contagious when an individual becomes infected so at the moment we are advising people not to worry. If we did confirm the first case of Ebola in the UK you can rest assured we would let the public know immediately.
“We are alert to the possibility of Ebola cases in the UK given the outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea and we remain vigilant to unexplained illness in people who have travelled from the area. Processes have been developed to protect public health in the event that we are notified of any individual who may have been exposed to Ebola.”
Ebola often presents like a cold or the ‘flu, but as the virus takes hold, the victim experiences vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding from the nose, ears, eyes and rectum. It is passed through bodily fluids or infected objects.