The British nurse, Pauline Cafferkey, who contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone “is showing signs of improvement and is no longer critically ill”, according to a statement from the Royal Free Hospital in London.
After several weeks in a critical condition, Ms Cafferkey seems to be slowly recovering from the virus contracted in December during her volunteer work with Save the Children at an Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone.
Ms Cafferkey has been given an anti-viral experimental drug, ZMapp, and blood plasma infusions from virus survivor and fellow nurse, William Polley. He was the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the UK and recovered after being treated by the Royal Free Hospital London staff, last year.
Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland have been conducting a comprehensive review of all the Ebola screening procedures in the UK, after Ms Cafferkey was cleared to fly to Glasgow Airport, despite telling staff that she was feeling unwell. Upon arriving at Heathrow Airport, her temperature was taken several times and with the tests showing normal results, she was given permission to go home, in South Lanarkshire. The British volunteer nurse had just flown in from Morocco in a connecting flight from Sierra Leone.
Ms Cafferkey would, days later, report symptoms of Ebola to an NHS helpline and was taken into an isolation room at the Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow and later transferred to the Royal Free Hospital in North London, by a Royal Air Force Hercules plane on December, 30.
According to the Royal Free Hospital staff, Ms Cafferkey will “remain in isolation as she continues receiving specialist care”, until she tests negative for the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 7,000 people have already died with Ebola and the number of people infected has now passed 20,000, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The United Kingdom has committed an additional £92.5m to support West Africa eradicate the virus, taking the UK’s total contribution to £325m. Public Health England clarifies however that “the overall risk of Ebola to the UK remains low”. #Medicine