• Germany's news in English
 
German hospitals ready for Ebola patients
Hamburg's UKE isolation ward is ready to take patients. Photo: DPA

German hospitals ready for Ebola patients

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

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 Another preliminary request has also been withdrawn.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 stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
German bank sues Ecclestone for €345mn
Photo: DPA

German bank sues Ecclestone for €345mn

German bank BayernLB is seeking €345 million ($423 million) in a lawsuit against Formula One magnate Bernie Ecclestone over the 2006 sale of the sport's rights, according to a report. READ  

Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany
Joachim Löw holding the World Cup trophy. File photo: DPA

Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany

World Cup winners Germany have suffered something of a hangover since their triumph in Brazil, but coach Joachim Löw is hoping a new-look side can go on to claim more glory at Euro 2016. READ  

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges
Photo: DPA

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges

German mobile phone company T-Mobile has agreed to pay at least $90 million to settle US government claims that it bilked customers with bogus charges, US regulators said Friday. READ  

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law
Photo: DPA

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law

The German Ethics Council said the law should not be changed to permit assisted suicide in a paper published on Friday. READ  

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin
Swan Lake. An abandoned ride in the Spreewald pleasure park. Photo: DPA

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin

The iconic ruined themepark in the centre of Berlin - a long-time favourite of hipster adventurers - needs a clean-up costing at least 14 million euros, the Berlin government has revealed. READ  

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer
File photo of Nuremberg main station: Shutterstock

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer

Officers in Nuremberg arrested a man on Thursday evening after he called in a false bomb threat against the main train station READ  

Opinion
Angela, David...and Nigel
So near...and yet so far Photo: DPA

Angela, David...and Nigel

The rise of UKIP broke up what had been a good 2014 for Cameron and Merkel. READ  

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead
Dr Gunther von Hagens. Photo: DPA

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech
Photo: Phorms Education

Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech

As parents fret over children’s internet habits, a network of bilingual schools in Germany shows that putting computers in the classroom from an early age yields positive results. READ  

Networks scramble to patch mobile security
Chancellor Angela Merkel has herself been the victim of phone hacking. Photo: DPA

Networks scramble to patch mobile security

IT experts led by Berlin-based Karsten Nohl said on Thursday they had discovered security flaws in the mobile phone networks that would allow attackers to read users' messages. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,211
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd