Scottish government holds Ebola meeting

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image captionThe World Health Organisation has declared the crisis a "public health emergency of international concern"

A special Ebola meeting to discuss how prepared Scotland is for the virus has been chaired by First Minister Alex Salmond.

The meeting was to ensure Scotland's NHS is able to "stand ready" should any cases of Ebola be confirmed.

Scotland's risk of Ebola is said to be very low.

The meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee also considered support for countries affected.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said Scotland has the expertise and facilities to ensure that any case of Ebola would be contained and isolated effectively.

Mr Neil said: "Ebola currently poses a very low risk to Scotland, and we have been working closely with Health Protection Scotland (HPS) to monitor this situation since the outbreak in West Africa began.

"It should be emphasised that, even if a case was diagnosed, we have the expertise and facilities to ensure that this would be contained and isolated effectively.

"But it is right to ensure that we are both doing all we can to help in the countries affected and that Scotland's NHS stands ready should a case of Ebola be confirmed in Scotland.

"The Scottish Government is working with other UK departments to ensure that appropriate border controls are in place and we have a co-ordinated response to this, continually evolving, situation. This is in line with advice and actions being introduced globally.

"We have also provided £500,000 to the World Health Organisation to help combat spread of the disease in Africa."

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