A female healthcare worker who has been diagnosed with Ebola after returning from Sierra Leone is in a stable condition in hospital in Glasgow after becoming the first person to be confirmed to be carrying the virus on UK soil.

The patient flew back to the UK via Casablanca and London Heathrow before arriving at Glasgow Airport at around 11.30pm yesterday on a British Airways flight.

She was admitted to hospital early this morning after telling NHS she was feeling feverish and was placed into isolation in the Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases at the city's Gartnavel Hospital at 7.50am. She was not in an A&E unit or any other part of the complex in the west end of the city.

Health officials are tracing the 71 other people who were on the British Airways flight from London to Glasgow with the woman.

The patient is thought to have had contact with only one other person in Scotland apart from the other passengers on the flight and hospital staff.

The charity, Save The Children, confirmed that she had been working at their Ebola Treatment Centre at Kerry Town, Sierra Leone

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the risk to the general public is "extremely low to the point of negligible".

While public health experts have emphasised that the risks are low, a telephone helpline has been set up for anyone who was on the Heathrow to Glasgow flight last night. The number is 08000 858531.

According to UK and Scottish protocol for anyone diagnosed with Ebola, the patient will be transferred to the high-level isolation unit in the Royal Free Hospital, north London, as soon as possible. This is where the facilities, staff and systems are in place to ensure the best quality and safest care.

Ms 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.

"We have the robust procedures in place to identify cases rapidly. Our health service also has the expertise and facilities to ensure that confirmed Ebola cases such as this are contained and isolated, effectively minimising any potential spread of the disease.

"Scotland's NHS has proved it is well able to cope with infectious diseases in the past, such as swine flu, and I am confident we will be able to respond effectively again."

Speaking at a press conference in Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon said: "Given the early stage of the diagnosis, the patient was displaying no symptoms that could lead to onward transmission before she reported as being unwell.

"Passengers on both the flight from Casablanca to Heathrow and Heathrow to Glasgow are being traced and contacted. They will be given the appropriate advice and reassurance."

It is thought to be the first time that a case of Ebola has been diagnosed on UK soil.

Health Protection Scotland (HPS) is making contact with passengers who were on the flight to Glasgow.

Dr Syed Ahmed, of HPS, said: "The healthcare worker did not have any symptoms. The reason we are trying to contact passengers is to make sure that they get the right information.

"We want to reassure them personally by making contact with them and also to let them know what the symptoms are and if they do have any symptoms, they need to contact the NHS."

Dr Alisdair MacConnachie, of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said the patient is clinically stable and should have a good prognosis.

Health Protection England said the healthcare worker left Sierra Leone yesterday and was a passenger on flight AT596 from Freetown to Casablanca, flight AT0800 from Casablanca to London, and transferred at Heathrow to flight BA1478 for onward travel to Glasgow.

It said the risk of infection to other passengers on the flights is considered extremely low but, as a precaution, it is arranging for all passengers and crew on the flight from Casablanca to Heathrow to be provided with health information.

It will be contacting and following up those passengers who were sitting near the affected passenger on these flights.

England's chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: "Our thoughts are with this individual who, along with other NHS and public health colleagues, are doing a fantastic job saving lives.

"The English and Scottish governments and health authorities are working together to make sure that this individual receives the best possible care. UK hospitals have a proven track record of dealing with imported infectious diseases.

"It is important to be reassured that although a case has been identified, the overall risk to the public continues to be low.

"We have robust, well-developed and well-tested NHS systems for managing unusual infectious diseases when they arise, supported by a wide range of experts. The UK system was prepared, and reacted as planned, when this case of Ebola was identified."

A British Airways spokesman said: ''We are working closely with the health authorities in England and Scotland and will offer assistance with any information they require.

''Customers who flew from London Heathrow to Glasgow on BA1478 which departed at 2100 on Sunday December 28 and have concerns should contact the special number 08000 858531 set up by the Scottish Government.

''The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and the risk to people on board that individual flight is extremely low.''

A spokesman for the Royal Free Hospital said it was not yet clear when the patient would be transferred to London.

''The Royal Free London can confirm that it is expecting to receive a patient who has tested positive for Ebola.

''The patient will be treated in the high level isolation unit (HLIU),'' he said.

The unit is run by a dedicated team of doctors and laboratory staff and access is restricted to specially trained medical staff.

A specially designed tent is set up around the patient's bed so the infection can be contained while they are treated.

Downing Street said David Cameron phoned Ms Sturgeon regarding the case and made clear that the UK Government stood ready to assist ''in any way possible'', a No 10 spokesman said.

Michael von Bertele, Save the Children Humanitarian Director, said: "We can confirm that an NHS healthworker working with Save the Children at the Ebola Treatment Centre at Kerry Town, Sierra Leone, has tested positive for Ebola.

"Our thoughts are with the individual, their family and colleagues at this difficult time. We wish them a speedy recovery.

"Save the Children is working closely with the UK Government, Scottish Government and Public Health England to look into the circumstances surrounding the case."