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58 Close Contacts of A Nurse are Closely Monitored for Ebola

by Bidita Debnath on October 14, 2015 at 3:20 AM
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58 Close Contacts of A Nurse are Closely Monitored for Ebola

A total of 58 close contacts of a British nurse currently in treatment for a rare late complication from the Ebola virus have been identified, heath officials revealed.

Pauline Cafferkey was successfully treated in January after contracting Ebola in Sierra Leone while treating patients there. Cafferkey, 39, was admitted to hospital in Glasgow last week after feeling unwell and was flown to London's Royal Free Hospital, where she is being treated in Britain's only isolation ward for the lethal disease.

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In a statement, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said that all close contacts of the nurse had been identified and offered vaccinations. "All 58 close contacts are being closely monitored," the statement said.

"This includes a period of 21 days since their last exposure where they will have their temperature taken twice daily, restrictions placed on travel and, in the case of healthcare workers, they have been asked not to have direct patient contact during this period."
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The group is a mix of healthcare workers and friends, family and contacts in the community, according to the health service.

In all, 40 of the group were offered an Ebola vaccination, of which 25 accepted. The other 15 people either declined or could not take the vaccine due to existing medical conditions.

The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine used is currently under trial in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

During a recent outbreak of Ebola in the West African state of Guinea the vaccination was tested in over 7,000 people. Cafferkey "is in a serious condition", the Royal Free Hospital said on Friday.

The deadliest-ever Ebola outbreak since the virus was identified in central Africa in 1976 has killed 11,312 of the 28, 457 people infected since December of 2013, according to the latest WHO figures. Nearly all the victims have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Source: AFP
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