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Scotland just confirmed its first Ebola case

A health-care worker arriving from Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone in Glasgow was just diagnosed with the virus, according to Scotland's National Health Service. Here are the details:

"[The patient] returned to Scotland from Sierra Leone late last night via Casablanca and London Heathrow, arriving into Glasgow Airport on a British Airways flight at around 11.30pm.

The patient was admitted to hospital early in the morning after feeling unwell and was placed into isolation at 7.50am. All possible contacts with the patient are now being investigated and anyone deemed to be at risk will be contacted and closely monitored. However, having been diagnosed in the very early stages of the illness, the risk to others is considered extremely low."

The unnamed patient will be transferred to a high-level isolation unit in London as soon as possible.

In total, more than 20,000 people have contracted the Ebola virus this year, and more than 7,800 have died, according to the World Health Organization's latest estimates. The bulk of the cases are concentrated in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

Until Ebola is contained in West Africa, it's a threat everywhere


It has been a year since the first Ebola case was identified. The latest epidemic reports from the New England Journal of Medicine suggest there has been "uneven success" in the control measures in West Africa. So while viral spread has been contained in some regions, it remains stubbornly persistent in others.

"A total of 625 confirmed or probable cases were reported from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in the first week of December, a number similar to the average for the preceding 10 weeks," according to the journal. 

The case in Scotland is a reminder that, until the epidemic is stopped in West Africa, Ebola remains a threat everywhere.

To learn more about the Ebola epidemic and how the virus spreads, see our cardstack. You can also read about how the virus changed people's lives in our "Living Through Ebola" series.

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