Ebola London
Senior Matron Breda Athan demonstrates a protective suit that would be used to treat patients suffering from Ebola at The Royal Free Hospital in LondonReuters

Health authorities have confirmed they are investigating a "possible" case of the Ebola virus in Scotland.

A woman, who recently arrived from Sierra Leone, is being tested for the deadly disease at an immigration removal centre.

The detainee became ill while being held at Dungavel Detention Centre in South Lanarkshire.

A spokesman for NHS Lanarkshire said: "We are currently investigating a possible case of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (Ebola).

"This is a precautionary measure and it would appear at this stage to be highly unlikely the patient will test positive for Ebola."

A Home Office spokesman said: "We do not comment on operational matters."

Health officials have said it appears "highly unlikely" the test will turn out to be positive, but are taking necessary precautions.

A man was previously tested for the Ebola virus in Birmingham, but he was given the all clear.

The latest case comes amid growing international concern about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

More than 1,000 people have died and almost 2,000 suspected, probable or confirmed Ebola cases have been recorded there.

Health experts say they are struggling to contain the epidemic, which started in Guinea last March and has since spread to neighbouring Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan recently warned that the spread of the disease across international borders could result in a global catastrophe.

Hospitals in Europe are preparing isolation wards to cope with a possible outbreak. Low-pressure environments have been created to treat possible patients and prevent bacteria and viruses from reproducing.

The Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is infected and is highly contagious.

The disease has a long incubation period, enabling it to be spread rapidly by people who do not realise they are infected.