A SCIENTIST from Porton Down has joined the fight against the Ebola virus in Guinea by working for the EU’s mobile laboratory.
Lisa Jameson, a doctoral research fellow from Salisbury, worked on the frontline testing for the Ebola virus for four weeks.
“It was a really humbling experience being able to travel to Guinea and see firsthand the work that is carried out there,” she said.
“The conditions that people are in are terrible and at the mobile laboratory we were at the centre of fighting the outbreak.”
The laboratory is funded by the EU providing specialist scientists and equipment to help fight infectious diseases in Sub- Saharan Africa.
She also said that the chances of the disease spreading in the UK were highly unlikely as the disease only becomes infectious after symptoms begin to show.
She added: “The disease is not as infectious as something like the ’flu but it is getting a lot of people worried because of the media coverage.
“We always work in pairs and we are very professional when we are out there so there isn’t much chance of catching the virus.”
The medical facility at Porton Down is the centre of Ebola research in the UK and every suspected case in the country is sent there to be tested.
“Porton for many years has handled many different highlyinfectious diseases and has an excellent safety record,” said Mrs Jameson.
“We only deal with blood samples of Ebola anyway, so there is no risk to public health from any work that is carried out at Porton Down.”
Aside from work on Ebola Mrs Jameson is also an expert on the Hantervirus and has recently managed to find the UK’s first recorded instance of the disease that primarily infects rodents.