British border staff unprepared for Ebola outbreak: union

July 31, 2014

British border staff are not ready to deal with possible Ebola cases arriving in the country and there are no containment facilities for suspected victims, a union leader said Thursday.

Fears that the outbreak of the virus in west Africa could spread to other continents have grown in recent days, putting border staff across Europe and Asia on high alert.

Lucy Moreton, general secretary of the union that represents border forces in Britain, said that her members are "very concerned" abut the situation.

"They are phoning us up and asking 'what are we supposed to do, how do we spot this, how do we protect ourselves?', and we can't answer that for them just now," Moreton said.

"There is no health facility at the border, there is no containment facility and until extremely recently there has been no guidance issued to staff at all as to what they should do."

The warning comes a day after the British government's crisis response committee met on Wednesday to discuss its preparations to cope with any possible outbreak in Britain.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has described it as a "very serious threat", amid concerns that a person carrying the virus could travel to Britain.

One possible case in Britain has tested negative.

Almost 700 people have been killed in west Africa by the since the first case was detected in February.

Explore further: In west Africa, Mano River summit focuses on Ebola fight

Related Stories

Sierra Leone raises Ebola death toll

June 2, 2014

Sierra Leone raised its death toll from the highly contagious Ebola virus on Monday, sparking fears that the deadly epidemic gripping west Africa is spreading.

EU ready for Ebola threat: sources

July 30, 2014

The European Union is equipped and ready to treat victims should the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed hundreds in West Africa, be found in member states, EU sources said Wednesday.

Hong Kong makes Ebola 'contingency' measures

July 30, 2014

Hong Kong said Wednesday it was quarantining all people from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia who were showing Ebola-like symptoms on arrival in the city, as fears grow worldwide about the spread of the deadly virus.

Recommended for you

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

August 25, 2016

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development. ...

In sub-Saharan Africa, cancer can be an infectious disease

August 26, 2016

In 1963, Irish surgeon Denis Parson Burkitt airmailed samples of an unusual jaw tumor found in Ugandan children to his colleague, Anthony Epstein, at Middlesex Hospital in London. Epstein, an expert in chicken viruses and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.