UK Health Radio Medical News Update – On the Hour
The BBC has reported that treatment has begun in north west London for a Briton who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone.
A US scientist who was working with the man has named the man as William Pooley, a 29-year-old volunteer nurse. Mr Pooley was flown to RAF Northolt in a specially equipped military aircraft on Sunday and taken under police escort to Hampstead's Royal Free Hospital.
The British nurse had volunteered to go to West Africa to care for victims of the Ebola outbreak that has killed almost 1,500 people. This is the first confirmed case of a Briton contracting the virus during the current outbreak. Mr Pooley was flown out of Sierra Leone's main airport in Lungi, in an RAF C-17 transport aircraft.
He will now be treated in a specialist isolation unit for patients with highly infectious disease, the only one of its kind in Europe. A special tent will ensure that medical staff can interact with the patient but will be kept safe by being separated from direct contact with him by plastic and rubber.
Mr Pooley will remain in the isolation ward at the Royal Free hospital in London. A colleague of in Mr Pooley’s in the Kenema district, Robert F Garry described him as a "remarkable young man and a natural leader".
There is currently no cure for Ebola but with treatment of the symptoms, and proper hydration, patients have a chance of survival.
Prof Jonathan Ball, a virologist at Nottingham University, said there would be immediate testing to ensure all organs were functioning adding "He really is in the best place and will have the best possible care.”
Last week, two Americans who had contracted the disease in Liberia made a recovery and were discharged from hospital after being given an experimental drug called ZMapp, in the USA.
Officials in Liberia also reported that three medical staff had shown signs of improvement after taking the drug. The US manufacturer of ZMapp has said supplies of the drug are exhausted, but the Department of Health said it was working to source any remaining doses.
The World Health Organisation has estimated that 2,615 people in West Africa have been infected with Ebola since March.
Here in the UK the Department of Health deputy chief medical officer Prof John Watson has said the risk of Ebola to the UK remains "very low".
UK Health Radio Medical News Update
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