Nurse with suspected Ebola isolated in Australia after return from Sierra Leone
A 57-year-old nurse has been isolated in Cairns, Australia, with suspected Ebola following her return from Sierra Leone, one of the centers of the epidemic. Health officials have confirmed the information.
Chief health officer Jeanette Young told the Sydney Morning Herald that the nurse was working in a hospital treating Ebola victims in Sierra Leone.
She has been under quarantine at home since she returned Saturday. After she developed a "low-grade fever" Thursday morning, she was checked into Cairns Hospital at about 1pm.
Test results could be available on Thursday evening or Friday afternoon, health officials stated, as cited by Sydney Morning Herald.
Dr Young said that the woman was working for the Red Cross in Sierra Leone.
“As recommended by national guidelines, this patient has been isolating herself at home and checking her temperature twice daily since her return, and today has reported an elevated temperature of 37.6 degrees,” Dr Young told journalists, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The woman did not pose any health risk to those she traveled with on the plane from Sierra Leone to Australia, doctors said.
"While Ebola is a very serious disease, it is not highly contagious as it cannot be caught through coughing or sneezing,” Dr. Young said. “A person is not infectious until they are unwell with the disease.”
"The risk of infection is extremely low unless there has been direct exposure to the bodily fluids of an infected person or animal such as vomit, blood or diarrhea," she added.
Meanwhile, striking gravediggers in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, returned to work one day after they had walked out over pay, abandoning dead bodies in the city.
The UK is set to send 750 personnel to the virus-hit country to help to fight the fatal disease.
The latest suspected case of Ebola comes as the US and Canada have declared increased airport screening measures to detect passengers carrying the disease.
The death toll from the fatal virus is nearing 3,900, with over 8,000 infected so far, according to the WHO’s latest figures.