According to The Guardian, a person who recently returned from west Africa is being tested in a Northern Irish hospital for Ebola.
The Royal Victoria hospital in Belfast has isolated the patient according to the Public Health Agency (PHA) on Sunday.
The patient has already tested positive for malaria while a blood sample will confirm whether they have also contracted Ebola.
Nursing staff at the west Belfast hospital are wearing protective clothing while caring for the patient, in accordance with new safety measures.
“The patient being treated in the Royal Victoria hospital, Belfast, has tested positive for malaria, and an Ebola test is being done as a precautionary measure,” a PHA statement said. “The PHA is liaising with colleagues and has advised that there is no increased risk to the wider community.”
The PHA stressed that the likelihood of contracting Ebola was extremely low unless the person had come into contact with blood or body fluids of a symptomatic person, adding that the risk to the public was low.
The agency added that it was in contact with the rest of the health service in the region.
In the UK, George Osborne – a British Conservative Party politician – proposed a freeze on working-age welfare benefits if the Conservatives are elected in 2015. But its effect may cause some to reflect.
The Chancellor calculates that it will save £3.2 billion over two years, 2016/17 and 2017/18. Treasury figures suggest the total welfare bill across those two years will be roughly £356 billion – so the saving would amount to about 0.9% of the total.
To put it another way, the freeze would not affect 99.1% of welfare spending. Nevertheless, £3 billion is not an insignificant sum and some will argue it would be an important contribution to cutting the deficit.
The question, however, is whether the real-terms cut targets the right people. Around two-thirds of those affected by the freeze are in working households.
Government figures show that some 67% of those receiving child or working tax credits are designated to be “in-work families”. Most of those in receipt of child benefit will also be working.
It will also hit some of the poorest families in Britain. Income Support, which is included in the freeze, is a benefit specifically targeted at the poor. Child benefit can be the difference between just getting by and going without the basics for some low-income families.