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Tests are being carried out on another suspected ebola sufferer in the US - hours after a female nurse was confirmed to have contracted the disease from a patient.
The man was put into isolation in Boston, Massachusetts, after recently returning from Liberia - one of the countries worst affected by the outbreak.It follows the death of 42-year-old Thomas Eric Duncan at a hospital in Dallas, Texas, the first from ebola on US soil. A nurse who was treating Mr Duncan at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was confirmed on Sunday to have been the first to contract the disease in the US. The unnamed woman, who had been wearing full protective gear, reported having a low-grade fever on Friday and was then isolated, officials said. Dr Thomas Frieden, from the Centres for Disease Control, said the hospital worker caught the disease because of a breach of care protocol during Mr Duncan s treatment. A further 18 workers could also have been exposed, he said, and are being monitored. The male suspected ebola victim who recently returned from Liberia is being evaluated at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston. He presented himself to a hospital in Braintree, Massachusetts, complaining of a headache and muscle aches, before being transferred. It is expected to take between 24 and 48 hours to discover if he is suffering from ebola. More than 4,000 people have died in the latest outbreak, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in West Africa. The US started screening people travelling from those countries to its busiest international airports on Saturday to limit the spread of the disease. An exercise also took place in the UK over the weekend to ensure emergency authorities were prepared for the possible spread of ebola. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has now announced calls to the NHS non-emergency 111 phone line are to be screened for possible cases of ebola. Anyone ringing up with possible symptoms of the disease will be questioned to see if they have been to West Africa. It has been reported there are fears hundreds of students returning to UK universities after a summer break in West Africa could be at risk of inadvertently bringing the disease to Britain. Mr Hunt said the UK had robust and well-tested systems for dealing with any imported case of ebola , but added: However, we keep the need for further measures under review and will never be complacent - and so I asked for additional steps to be taken by NHS 111. Britain is also planning enhanced screening at Heathrow and Gatwick airports and at Eurostar rail terminals. Ahead of a statement to the House of Commons Mr Hunt told Sky News: What we are trying to do is find out if people are at high risk of having contracted the virus so that we can stay in touch with them, call them twice a day, check their temperatures because the most critical thing with this virus is someone is not at risk to other people unless they are showing symptoms. So the moment they get those symptoms we need to send an ambulance with people with the protective equipment to make sure we can put them in isolation - that s much better for them as well, their chances of survival are much higher the quicker we can get to them. The UK s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, said the country should expect a handful of ebola cases in the coming months. The British expert in charge of the United Nations response to ebola, Dr David Nabarro, said he hoped the spread of the killer virus would be under control within three months.
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