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UK Doctors Warned to Watch for Ebola

Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 05:58 PM

By Cathy Burke

Doctors in Britain are being warned to be on the lookout for possible cases of Ebola disease.

"The issue is about the possibility of somebody who has contracted the disease in West Africa getting sick here," UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told the BBC.

"It is not about the disease spreading in the [United Kingdom], because we have, frankly, different standards of infection control procedures that would make that most unlikely," he said, adding he didn't think it's an issue that "at the moment" affects Britain "directly."

The BBC reported Wednesday that Britain's medical director of public health called it "unlikely but not impossible" that travelers infected in West Africa might develop symptoms on their return, but virologist Dr. Ben Neuman said the likelihood of Ebola spreading in the United Kingdom was "very, very small."

The Ebola virus has killed more than 670 people in West Africa.

The concern overseas comes as two U.S. medical missionaries working with Ebola patients in Liberia are battling the virus.

Dr. Kent Brantly, medical director of a center where Ebola victims are treated near the Liberian capital of Monrovia, and worker Nancy Writebol had been disinfecting doctors and nurses working with patients when they fell ill.

A statement by the North Carolina-based group said both showed "slight improvement" in the past 24 hours but remained in serious condition, SA Today reported.

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