I believe she sought immediate care once she realised she was symptomatic, so hopefully that minimises the risk.
However, I worry as all the flights she took were in the last day - with the flight from Heathrow stupidly said Gatwick in my OP to Glasgow not landing until 23:30 last night - therefore she may well have been starting to display symptoms during the flight(s)...
She probably was displaying at least some symptoms if she flew back yesterday and is already hospitalised with a confirmed diagnosis today, but Ebola isnt that easy to catch unless you have extended close/intimate contact with the person so the chances are overwhelming that everyone on the flights will be just fine (I'd still be a bit anxious if I were one of them, I admit).
Thomas Eric Duncan (the Liberian man who died of Ebola in Texas) flew to the US, spent several days there, felt ill, went to hospital, was treated by health care workers not wearing protective gear, was sent home and stayed there (in an apartment with several other people including children) for two days before returning to the hospital and being quarantined. And yet he only infected two other people -- both nurses who treated him after he was quarantined.
ljkk - I wish I shared your lack of concern. I'm a pharmacology undergrad at an RG uni that is next door to one of the units equipped to care for Ebola patients. One of our recent lecture series' was with a virologist who thought the Government's implementation to screen direct flight passengers for Ebola infected regions was like "sticking a condom on your penis after you have climaxed!". I think he thought it a little ineffective...
Chatelaine, there are only 4 hospitals equipped to treat Ebola in the UK - Royal Free in London (where this patient is being transferred to), Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield.
One news report I saw appeared to be saying that she travelled yesterday, and when she woke this morning gad some possible symptoms. As a returning health volunteer, she knew what to do, reported them and was immediately placed in isolation.
Ebola is characterised by rapid onset of severe symptoms. As you're only infectious once symptomatic, this tends to reduce transmission (patient too ill to do much that brings then into contact with those other than cohabitants of HCPs).
There are people in Africa sharing sleeping mat with incubators & sufferers, eating out of the same bowl every meal, even when they start being actively ill, or people with no safety gear giving all the care during acute illness. People who touch the body at funerals. And most of them still don't get it. It's scary nasty disease & needs quarantining, but unless she slobbered heavily on someone...
She would have been fully equipped but for hours & hours interacting closely with people who were very ill & shedding the virus copiously in many body fluids. Virus isn't shed heavily before symptoms start or after they ease up.
10-15% of populace in sub-Saharan Africa carry antibodies for Ebola or other filovirus even though most of them never recall having anything like the full illness. There is some kind of way to get mild exposure that leads to some degree of immunity without getting fully ill. Don't want to be complacent, but the more I learn about Ebola the less it scares me.
I hope she passes next 10-14 days as comfortably as possible & recovers well. That her Glasgow contact escapes it, too.
I completely agree with lljkk - my DH has got himself in a right old tizz about Ebola so I set out to make myself the resident 'expert' in our house. The more I learn about it and the more facts I pass on to him about it, the better he feels. I read the WHO update each week and explain it to him.
Early EHF presents a lot like flu (fever with joint/muscle ache). I suppose what Bunnyjo's lecturer is unhappy about is the person who doesn't present self to health system at first sign of symptoms. Because they are in denial or scared, and then it could easily spread if they didn't seek early medical help. Pauline Cafferkey has done everything sensibly, though.