• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

German hospitals ready for Ebola patients

The Local · 1 Aug 2014, 16:50

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 Another preliminary request has also been withdrawn.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

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Govt denies planning bailout for troubled Deutsche Bank
Photo: DPA

Germany's finance ministry on Wednesday said the government was "not preparing rescue plans" for Deutsche Bank, denying a newspaper report that state aid was being considered for the embattled lender.

Munich at high risk of housing bubble: report
A view of Munich. Photo: Pexels.com

Considering buying property in Munich? This report might make you think twice.

After fatal hail storm, south Germany set to see sun
The hail storm in Baden-Württemberg on Monday night left the streets looking like a winter landscape. Photo: DPA.

A hail storm in southwest Germany on Monday night led to the death of one woman, but forecasters predict a bit more sun in the days to come.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

UK files show how Spanish spy tricked Nazis over D-Day
Photo: DPA

Secret files released in Britain Wednesday shed new light on how a Spaniard dubbed the greatest double agent of World War II tricked Germany with false intelligence about the D-Day Normandy landings.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,545
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd