A SECOND healthcare worker is being tested for the Ebola virus after returning to Scotland from West Africa.
The woman who had been staying at the Torridon Youth Hostel in Achansheen, Ross-Shire, was taken by ambulance to the infection unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, after complaining of feeling unwell.
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Medical staff involved in the transfer wore protective suits.
Blood samples were taken on route at the ambulance bay at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and were flown down to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to be tested.
It is thought the woman, who has not been named, was among a party of around 30 who had hired out the hostel which is run by SYHA Hostelling Scotland.
NHS Highland said the woman had recently returned from Sierra Leone, and was moved in a specially-equipped ambulance.
The woman is not believed to have come into contact with anyone who had contracted Ebola.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stressed that the case of the patient, who had recently returned from a trip to Sierra Leone, was being treated as “low probability”.
Ms Sturgeon said that the woman was being transferred for tests “on a highly precautionary basis” given the seriousness of Ebola.
Yesterday the manager of the Torridon youth hostel refused to comment on the incident. It was not known whether any isolation measures were put in place for other guests staying in the building.
The hostel is based in a remote area next to the Upper Loch Torridon in the North Western Highlands and is popular with hillwalkers and outdoor sports enthusiasts at this time of year.
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “The patient, a female adult, is low risk but became unwell following her return from a country with an Ebola outbreak within the last 21 days.
“She has not had any contact in the UK with the confirmed case from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
“The patient is stable and is not giving any cause for clinical concern. The risk to the general public of contracting Ebola in Scotland remains very low.”
The building has a self-catering kitchen along with large lounges and multi-share bedrooms as well as private family rooms.
Wester Ross councillor Audrey Sinclair said it was a busy time of year for tourism in the Highlands and described the incident as alarming.
“If you are in a hotel you are more remote from other guests but if you are in a hostel you are more in contact with people and sharing rooms.
“There is a bigger chance of anything being spread that way so it is unfortunate it has been a youth hostel as opposed to a hotel.
“We’ve got to hope that it is a false alarm and they have just been very precautionary.”
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