British border staff unprepared for Ebola outbreak: union

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.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU ready for Ebola threat: sources

Jul 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.

Sierra Leone raises Ebola death toll

Jun 02, 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.

Recommended for you

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

18 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

19 hours ago

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

19 hours ago

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal ...

Discovery of genes that predispose a severe form of COPD

21 hours ago

A study by Ramcés Falfán-Valencia, researcher at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER), found that the mestizo Mexican population has a number of variations in certain genes that predispose ...

On the environmental trail of food pathogens

22 hours ago

Tracking one of the deadliest food contamination organisms through produce farms and natural environments alike, Cornell microbiologists are showing how to use big datasets to predict where the next outbreak could start.

User 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.