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Leading virologist comments on claims Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey 'concealed temperature'

Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey faces disciplinary action over claims she concealed her temperature at an Ebola screening on her return to the UK.

The 40-year-old was infected with the deadly virus while working in Sierra Leone in 2014.

She is alleged to have given dishonest answers to medical staff when she returned to Heathrow airport.

Virologist Professor Andrew Easton said: "The mere presence of an elevated temperature would not be indicative of infection in the absence of other symptoms but of course people travelling from a high risk area were advised to report any signs no matter how minor as that would indicate that they should be followed up with more detailed and extended surveillance.

"Health workers travelling back to the UK from the risk areas were subjected to more detailed and specific questioning rather than simply relying on self-reporting. That was designed to catch anyone who might have even a minimal risk of infection and is essentially a ‘trust’ situation that relies on people being informed and for them to communicate accurately any indication of symptoms based on the information they have been given.

"In the absence of a reliable and rapid diagnostic test the system in place this was all that was realistically available at the time. I would be surprising and certainly very disappointing if someone did not disclose symptoms they were experiencing at a time of such heightened awareness."

For further details please contact Nicola Jones, Media Relations Manager, University of Warwick 07920531221 or N.Jones.1@warwick.ac.uk