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: Liberia shuts schools in battle against Ebola: president

Related Stories

Liberia shuts schools in battle against Ebola: president

July 30, 2014
Liberia announced Wednesday it was shutting all schools and placing "non-essential" government workers on 30 days' leave in a bid to halt the spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic raging in west Africa.

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.

In west Africa, Mano River summit focuses on Ebola fight

May 4, 2014
The countries of west Africa's Mano River Union—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—kicked off a summit meeting on Sunday with the region's Ebola outbreak high on the agenda.

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.

WHO urges 'drastic action' on Ebola, calls 11-nation meeting (Update)

June 26, 2014
The World Health Organization on Thursday called for "drastic action" to fight the deadliest Ebola outbreak on record, as it announced an 11-nation meeting to address the growing crisis.

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

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new study shows; coughing and sneezing not required

January 18, 2018
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

Fresh approach to tuberculosis vaccine offers better protection

January 17, 2018
A unique platform that resulted in a promising HIV vaccine has also led to a new, highly effective vaccine against tuberculosis that is moving toward testing in humans.

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.