Health Protection Scotland and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are working together to push for “daily monitoring” in order to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus to Scotland. In the midst of the Commonwealth Games, the reach of the disease could increase.
Most recently, Ebola has infected those in west Africa. The area has actually experienced quite a large spread of what is called Ebola virus disease (EVD), a more dangerous strain that has about a 90 percent fatality rate. Despite this, Sierra Leone athletes will be participating in the Commonwealth Games and will travel to Glasgow to do so.
Of all the residents in Sierra Leone alone, about 340 have gotten sick with the Ebola virus disease, and nearly half of those, 142 in total, didn’t survive. There’s also no vaccine for the disease once someone does get it.
In an effort to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus disease in Scotland, the Brownlee Centre for Infectious and Communicable Diseases at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital will address all potential cases of the disease.
Also, Health Protection Scotland has stepped up its efforts to track Ebola symptoms through athletes’ Twitter posts. Similar symptoms could just be a case of food poisoning or the flu though.
The Twitter tracking, while admirable, may not be entirely effective unless checked over a long period of time. The Ebola virus disease doesn’t manifest any symptoms for up to three weeks in some cases. By that point, an infected person may have internal bleeding, external bleeding, diarrhea, and vomiting. Someone can come into contact with the disease through sharing dirty needles and exposure to someone else’s bodily fluids or blood.
Both the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Health Protection Scotland spoke about their efforts to track the virus and not exclude Sierra Leone athletes in the process. The two organizations released a statement about the situation: “Based on current advice from the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, we estimate that the risk of a visitor coming from Sierra Leone to Scotland with EVD remains very low. Nevertheless, we are monitoring the situation on a daily basis.”
The Commonwealth Games begin on July 23rd and run until August 3rd.