UPDATED: Northampton General Hospital says “Ebola is unlikely” but tests are being done as a precaution

Northampton General Hospital
Northampton General Hospital

Northampton General Hospital has confirmed it is testing a patient for Ebola but says it is “unlikely” they have the virus.

Earlier on Thursday night, the Press Association reported that the hospital had a suspected case of Ebola.

In a statement released at midnight on Wednesday evening, a hospital spokesman said: “A patient with a suspected case of Ebola was admitted to Northampton General Hospital this evening.

“Tests have now shown that the patient is malaria negative. Ebola is considered unlikely but testing is being done as a precaution, as is usual practice in these circumstances.

“We are confident that all appropriate actions are being taken to protect the public’s health and ensure there is no risk to patients or staff,” the spokesman added.

A spokesman for Public Health England tweeted in the early hours of Thursday morning: “PHE can confirm it is due to receive a sample for #Ebola testing, involving an individual at Northampton General Hospital.

“#Ebola is considered unlikely but testing is being done as a precaution, as is our usual practice in these circumstances,” he said.

Speaking to the Chronicle & Echo in October last year, a spokesman said measures were in place to deal with any cases of suspected Ebola.

“In line with guidance issued by the Department of Health and Public Health England, Northampton General Hospital has plans in place to identify and manage possible cases of Ebola in the unlikely event of a local outbreak.

“We have robust systems and processes which will ensure we are able to identify and isolate a patient who presents with symptoms of Ebola or any other infectious disease.

“We have sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment, and access to expert testing and advice.”

The spokesman added: “Our plans are being kept under continuous review and amended as the situation changes.

Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor David Mackintosh, said, in a statement: “I have been made aware of suspected Ebola case at Northampton General Hospital who have a plan to protect the public to deal with any incident.

“Northampton Borough Council stands ready to do anything asked of it to help and support the Hospital if required.”

Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton South, Kevin McKeever tweeted: “Concerned to learn of suspected Ebola patient being treated at Northampton General Hospital. Thinking of patient, family and NHS staff.”