The Government is issuing guidance to GP receptionists on how to deal with suspected cases of ebola, the health secretary has said today.
Speaking to Parliament, Jeremy Hunt said that it was ‘likely’ the UK will see a case of ebola, and this could be a handful over the next three months.
He added that the Government will monitor patients coming in from West Africa, and public health officials will call high risk travellers every day about potential symptoms.
He told MPs: ‘The chief medical officer… has this morning confirmed it is likely we will see a case of ebola in the UK and this could be a handful of cases in the next three months.
‘We’ve put in a process for all call handlers working with NHS 111 to ask people reporting respiratory symptoms about their recent travel history so appropriate help can be given to higher risk patients as quickly as possible.
‘We will also send out guidance to hospital and GP receptionists.’
Guidance already issued by Public Health England has advised GPs to suspect ebola if a patient who has recently visited any of the areas affected by the West African outbreak presents with a high fever.
There have already been 4,033 confirmed deaths and 8,399 probable and suspected cases in the seven affected Western African countries, including Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.