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Health officials confirm first Ebola case in Scotland

Scottish authorities say a female health care worker who just returned from Sierra Leone has been diagnosed with Ebola and is being treated in a Glasgow hospital.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called it the first case of Ebola ever diagnosed inside the United Kingdom.

The patient flew to Glasgow via Casablanca and London's Heathrow Airport, arriving late Sunday, the Scottish government said. The health care worker was admitted to a hospital on Monday morning.

Sturgeon said the patient, who is not being identified, had traveled on an internal British Airways flight from London to Glasgow on Sunday night and that passengers on that flight will be contacted.

But she said the patient was not yet showing symptoms at the time. People with Ebola are not believed to be contagious until they start exhibiting symptoms, which include a high fever, diarrhea and vomiting. The patient had been screened for symptoms before leaving at Sierra Leone and again at London Heathrow Airport, Sturgeon said.

She called the risk to the public "extremely low." "We have been preparing for this and have robust procedures in place," she said, adding that the patient would soon be transferred to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

The case bore some similarities to that of Dallas nurse Amber Vinson, who took a flight from Cleveland to Dallas the day before she was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of Ebola in October. Vinson recovered, and no one aboard the flight got sick.

The only previous case of Ebola in Britain was William Pooley, a nurse who contracted the disease while treating patients in Sierra Leone. He recovered after treatment in London and returned to West Africa.

Since an Ebola outbreak began in December 2013 in the West African country of Guinea, there have been nearly 20,000 cases and more than 7,500 deaths, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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