Travellers on flight told to check for Ebola symptoms

Neighbours of Pauline Cafferkey complained about apparently lax screening
Neighbours of Pauline Cafferkey complained about apparently lax screening
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PUBLIC health officials have traced all the passengers who travelled on board the same flight as Scots Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey, they announced yesterday.

In total, 21 of those returning 100 healthcare workers on board the Casablanca to Heathrow flight on 31 December have been asked to monitor themselves for the virus over the coming days.

Those sitting directly in the vicinity of the passenger – two rows adjacent, ahead and behind – have been advised to take their temperature twice daily until 18 January by Public Health England.

It has already been revealed that eight of the 70 passengers on board Ms Cafferkey’s connecting flight to Glasgow have been issued testing kits by Scottish officials with strict instructions to contact NHS 24 if they develop a high fever or temperature.

The news comes as neighbours of the Scottish nurse hit out at health bosses for letting her travel home without the condition being detected.

Ms Cafferkey was infected with the virus after travelling to Sierra Leone with 30 medical volunteers.

She had her temperature tested seven times at Heathrow after complaining of a fever and got the all-clear to travel home to Cambuslang near Glasgow.

Isabel McLinden, 70, who lives in the same block of flats as Ms Cafferkey, said: “I think something has gone wrong that she was allowed to travel back here without this disease being picked up.”

Neighbour Victor Cairns, 84, added: “The girl has been saying she didn’t feel well so alarm bells should have been ringing.”

Meanwhile, controversial TV personality Katie Hopkins has criticised people who “dial the cop shop every time we feel offended online” after she was reported to police over a Twitter outburst in which she declared: “Little sweaty jocks. Sending us ebola bombs in the form of sweaty Glaswegians just isn’t cricket.”

Yesterday Hopkins insisted: “The freedom to say only things that are polite is no real freedom of speech at all.”

In a previous message, she tweeted: “Glaswegian ebola patient moved to London’s Royal Free Hospital. Not so independent when it matters most are we jocksville?”

Police Scotland confirmed they were looking into complaints received, but no report had been submitted to the Crown Office prior to the start of the New Year public holiday.

Doctors treating Ms Cafferkey at the Royal Free Hospital in London said that she was “as well as we can hope for”.

She is being given an experimental anti-viral drug and blood from a patient who survived the virus, which has killed almost 8,000 people in west Africa.

Meanwhile, an Italian doctor who contracted Ebola in November while also working in Sierra Leone has been declared cured and discharged from hospital in Rome.

Fabrizio Pulvirent, who worked with the Italy-based Emergency aid group, was given the same experimental drugs that were used in the US and European countries to treat people infected with the virus, according to officials at the hospital.