• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

German hospitals ready for Ebola patients

The Local · 1 Aug 2014, 16:50

Published: 01 Aug 2014 16:50 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) said on Friday it remains prepared and ready to take Ebola patients from the outbreak in west Africa, despite not expecting any in the immediate future.

It received two requests this week to treat Ebola patients but those requests have now been cancelled.

"Of course our treatment centre is as always ready for use for patients with highly infectious diseases," spokeswoman Christine Trowitzsch told The Local.

"There are no longer any requests pending. Another preliminary request has also been withdrawn. Therefore we are not expecting a patient to be transferred," she added.

The UKE clinic has an isolation ward shut off behind three airlocks designed to stop contaminated material and microbes escaping.

The infectious Ebola virus has killed 672 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea since February in the world's largest ever recorded outbreak of the disease.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is still struggling to gain control of the virus for which there is no vaccine and no cure.

The current outbreak of Ebola, which started at the beginning of this year, has killed 55 percent of those it has infected.

The virus causes severe muscular pains, fever, headaches and, in the worst cases, unstoppable bleeding.

On Wednesday the WHO said in a statement it had passed no further treatment requests to Germany.

Earlier, UKE staff accepted Sierra Leone's request to take a patient, reportedly Sheik Umar Khan, an expert on Ebola and veteran fighter against the virus.

He died on Tuesday before he could reach Germany.

But the rapid spread of the virus is a danger for Europe, doctor Matthias Bochert from the Institute for Tropical Medicine and International Health at Berlin's Charite hospital told the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper on Friday.

The capital's university hospital's 20-bed special isolation unit for patients with life-threatening and highly infectious diseases is the biggest in Germany. It also includes a sealed-off laboratory and operating theatre.   

It can be ready to receive patients at two hour's notice.

But neither of Berlin's two airports have a quarantine station.

"We don't have any direct flights to the areas of west Africa in which the Ebola virus has appeared," Lars Wagner, a spokesman for Berlin's airport authority FBB told the paper.

"If we were to get the message or had suspicions that a plane was landing with highly infectious passengers on board, the plane would be put aside immediately," said Wagner.

"We would decide in close coordination with the relevant Berlin clinics how we were to proceed."

Tegel airport used to have a quarantine room in a separate building until 2008 when it was destroyed in a fire.

Meanwhile, German health authorities on Thursday warned against travel to the three affected countries in west Afirca - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Teen's murder-rape arrest reignites refugee debate
Flowers and candles set up in Freiburg to honour the student found dead. Photo: DPA.

The German government pleaded for calm on Monday after the arrest of a teenage Afghan asylum seeker for the alleged rape and murder of a German student triggered fresh criticism of the country's liberal refugee policy.

China criticizes US for blocking sale of German firm
Aixtron's headquarter in Herzogenrath in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

The US is reportedly worried that China could use the firm's technology in its nuclear programme.

Germany should deport sick refugees: Merkel party mate
Rejected asylum seekers in Leipzig being taken to the airport. Photo: DPA.

A top member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party on Monday defended his proposal for Germany to deport sick refugees after receiving harsh criticism.

Rail worker jailed over train crash that killed 12
Rescue workers at the scene of the crash. Photo: DPA

A German rail dispatcher who admitted that his negligence caused a train crash that killed 12 people has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Why Germany is worried by Italy's referendum result
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after a crushing referendum defeat on Sunday. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel lost a key ally on Sunday night.

These are Berlin's seven most exquisite restaurants
Two-star chef Tim Raue. Photo: DPA.

The capital city still hasn't managed to snag three stars in the new 2017 Michelin guide released on Thursday, but it still boasts seven two-star eateries. Here's a look at what they have to offer.

Austrian vote a 'good omen for Europe': German minister
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday said that the far-right defeat in Austria's presidential election was "a good omen" for Europe.

VW bosses forced to pay back private jet costs

Bosses at troubled German auto giant Volkswagen have been forced to pay the company back millions of euros for flights on its private jets, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.

Germany arrests Marxist militant 'leader'
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / DPA / AFP file picture

A radical Marxist suspected of belonging to a left-wing extremist group accused of terrorism by Turkey has been arrested in Germany, judicial sources said on Saturday.

Afghan teen arrested over German murder-rape
Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / DPA / AFP file picture

A teenage Afghan asylum seeker has been arrested on suspicion of the rape and murder of a 19-year-old female student in Germany, police and prosecutors said Saturday.

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,552
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd