Several British nationals have been voluntarily quarantined with suspected Ebola, according to the Daily Telegraph. The admission came from public health officials and follows revelations an individual in Cardiff had expressed fears they had contracted the disease.
The exact number of people quarantined and their exact location have not been confirmed, but they are believed to be spread across the UK. The problem faced by public health authorities is that tests for Ebola are ineffective until the patients show symptoms. This means that they have to wait up to 21 days, which is the maximum incubation period.
The World Health Organisation has also claimed that the virus is spreading faster than they can control. This may be because of a misunderstanding about how the virus is transmitted, in 2012 a study suggested that Ebola may be transmitted through the air.
Whilst the study was not conclusive the BBC reported that Canadian scientists had found that Ebola had been transmitted between animals that had never come into direct contact. This suggests that the current theory that it is only transmitted by exchange of bodily fluids may be wrong.
However it is known that the individual in Cardiff has been confined to their home for the past week, after they returned from West Africa.
The person visited West Africa where more than 1,600 people have been infected with the virus in recent months, resulting in 887 deaths. Public Health Wales said the person is “currently staying away from work and limiting contact with other people voluntarily”.
A health official admitted there were “several cases” across the UK, but stressed the quarantines were purely a precaution as none of them had developed any symptoms of Ebola.
Anna Humphries, of Public Health Wales, said: “There are other people in the UK, not in Wales, but we are aware of other people that have come back from affected countries and have been at risk because whatever they have done while they have been over there. They have been in a similar situation and they have been monitored for an incubation period to check they have not gone onto develop symptoms.
“There is a process for dealing with returning travelers and this is an example of that. Quarantine really depends on where exactly they have been.”
A statement from Public Health Wales insisted that the individual in quarantine does not have symptoms and “there are no cases of Ebola in Wales”. The statement added: “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.”
As reported in Breitbart London British Airways have decided to suspend flights to a number of West African countries until the end of the month in a effort to reduce the risk of Ebola spreading to the UK.