Health officials in Glasgow have confirmed that there has been an outbreak of the highly contagious Ebola virus after a health worker fell ill following her return from Sierra Leone in West Africa.

The yet to be named woman who was working in West Africa combating the infectious disease was taken into Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases in Gartnavel Hospital on Sunday at 23:30 and placed into isolation at 07:50.

Everyone who has had possible contact with the woman carrying the potentially fatal disease are being sourced and all people on the plane from Heathrow are also being sought.

People are being reminded that the risk of infection is highly unlikely, however any passenger on the British Airways flight from London Heathrow can phone this specialised phone number 08000 858531.

The WHO (World Health Organisation) released details confirming that the total number of deaths from Ebola currently stands at more than 8000 and the total number of infected stands at 20,000 in the worst outbreak of the disease in living memory.

The Scottish Government said: “all possible contacts with the patient are now being investigated and anyone deemed to be at risk will be contacted and closely monitored. However having being diagnosed in the very early stages of the illness, the risk to others is considered to be extremely low.”

The woman will be transferred to the isolation unit in the Royal Free Hospital in London as soon as possible.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Our first thoughts at this time must be with the patient diagnosed with Ebola and their friends and family. I wish them a speedy recovery.

“Scotland has been preparing for this possibility from the beginning of the outbreak in West Africa and I am confident that we are well prepared.