Scottish Ebola Nurse “Getting Better”

The Scottish nurse who contracted Ebola while in Sierra Leone, Pauline Cafferkey, is no longer critically ill with Ebola, London’s Royal Free Hospital says.

In a statement, the hospital said she was “showing signs of improvement”.

It was announced she was in a critical condition on 4 January.

The 39-year-old had volunteered with other UK NHS staff for the charity Save the Children in West Africa.

According to the BBC, the full statement from the hospital said: “The Royal Free Hospital is pleased to announce that Pauline Cafferkey is showing signs of improvement and is no longer critically ill.

“She remains in isolation as she receives specialist care for the Ebola virus.”

Ms Cafferkey has been treated with experimental drugs and has received blood plasma from another British nurse, Will Pooley, who recovered from an Ebola infection last year.

Prof Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology, University of Nottingham, said: “This is really good news – the team at the Royal Free have done a fantastic job.

“We will never know if investigational drugs and convalescent plasmas contributed to her improvement, but it does once again highlight the huge benefits that modern well-resourced critical care interventions can bring to those suffering from severe Ebolavirus infection.
“Although we’ve only seen a small number of cases in the West, the survival rate is well above that observed for those who remain in West Africa.
“The major factor being the standard of care and resources available – that’s why treatments and vaccines might still be important in the longer term fight in West Africa.
“Hopefully this is a sign that Pauline is well on her way to full recovery, although it might be some time until she tests negative for the virus, and is allowed out of isolation.”