UK hospitals are on “high alert” over fears that the deadly Ebola virus could arrive on British shores.
The Ebola virus that causes hemorrhagic fever is highly contagious. 5 new infections have been diagnosed in Guinea in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of new infections to 127, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO confirms Ebola has killed 80 people in Guinea. Ebola is classified as the “world’s deadliest virus”, with a mortality rate of 90 percent. There is no cure or treatment for Ebola. Once the onset of symptoms appear, death comes quickly. For this reason, health officials say it is unlikely the virus could reach Great Britain from western Africa.
“The chance of it spreading outside West Africa is relatively small, because essentially people get ill relatively quickly. They are not likely get on a plane and survive a journey,” said Nrian McCloskey, director of Global Health at the Health Protection Agency (HPA).
He added: “It’s technically possible that somebody could get on a plane and arrive in the UK. It’s extremely unlikely.” It is even more unlikely that an infected individual would make it all the way to the United States. But that depends upon the incubation period. If the incubation period is, say, 2 weeks, an Ebola carrier could already be in the UK or the US without showing any symptoms until the end of the incubation period.
Symptoms appear suddenly and include fever, headache, muscle cramps and sore throat, which soon turn to vomiting, diarrhoea and impaired kidney and liver function. The virus finally causes haemorrhaging, leading to death.
Neighboring countries have closed its borders to Guinea, including Liberia and Senegal.