Previously the affected countries lacked laboratory capacity, emergency operations centers, and disease surveillance systems. Communities were not aware (and some are still not aware) of what Ebola is, or how it is spread.Professor Paul Cosford, director for health protection at PHE, said:
All of this meant that when the Ebola outbreak hit these countries, it hit harder and spread faster. The successful implementation of these 3 labs will play an important part in helping to turn the tide.
We have robust mechanisms in place for detecting and responding to any usual infections within the UK, but ultimately the best possible defence will be ensuring the outbreak in West Africa is brought under control.
The successful introduction of the new labs means is a key step to bringing the Ebola outbreak under control, and I thank the PHE staff and other lab volunteers who have worked tirelessly to get these 3 labs up and running.
Notes to editors
- A range of the Ebola guidance issued by PHE can be found on the Ebola virus disease: clinical management and guidance page.
- Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. Website: www.gov.uk/phe, Twitter: @PHE_uk, Facebook: www.facebook.com/PublicHealthEngland
- The UK is leading the international response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone by diagnosing and isolating Ebola cases more quickly, trebling the number of treatment beds, supporting burial teams and researching a vaccine.
- Halting the disease in West Africa is the single most important way of preventing Ebola from infecting people in the UK. And that is why we have committed over £230 million to the effort. The UK has some of the best public health protection systems in the world and the risk to the UK remains low.
PHE Press Office, infections
61 Colindale Avenue London NW9 5EQ
Telephone: 020 8327 7901
Out of hours: 020 8200 4400