Ebola unit set up at DGRI

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Health chiefs have confirmed that a specialised secure Ebola unit has been created at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

Reacting to the growing crisis, staff at the Dumfries complex are being trained to handle infected patients should the killer disease strike the region.

A spokesperson for NHS Dumfries & Galloway told The Gazette: “There is an identified clinical area at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary where patients suspected of carrying the Ebola virus will be investigated and managed.

“Staff have received preparedness training and have access to the necessary personal protective equipment to allow for care of a suspected case until transfer to a specialist unit can be arranged.

“Public Health has worked in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council to circulate guidance and advice to primary care centres and educational setting on what to do if they suspect that someone is carrying the Ebola virus.

“In addition we have contributed to the regional Viral Haemorrhagic Fever Contingency Planning Group which is responsible for handling suspected cases of Ebola.

“We can confirm that we have not been alerted to any suspected cases of Ebola in Dumfries and Galloway and health professionals are aware of what to do if a case is reported to them.

The spokesperson added: “Further information about Ebola is on the health protection website at www.dghps.org/home/ebola.“

Meanwhile 40 soldiers from the local Royal Scots Borderers are heading to Sierra Leone to help stop the spread of Ebola.

They are part of a 750 strong team from the UK military.

Archie Dryburgh, the council’s Armed Forces Champion said: “Your readers will join me in wishing them all well and ensuring that they know that they are well supported in doing the task ahead of them. We all should be really proud to be associated with this fantastic battalion.”