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Scottish Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Has Been Discharged From Hospital For A Third Time

Three months after she was said to have made a full recovery, Pauline Cafferkey has been flown to London's Royal Free hospital. UPDATE: Cafferkey has been discharged after being deemed "not infectious".

Originally posted on
Updated on

UPDATE Pauline Cafferkey has now been discharged from hospital.

On Sunday doctors at London's Royal Free were happy that she was no longer infectious.

“The Ebola virus can only be transmitted by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person while they are symptomatic,” a spokesperson said.

Pauline Cafferkey, the Scottish nurse who contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone in 2014, was flown to a specialist hospital due to a "late complication" related to the virus on Tuesday.

Sky News

Nurse Pauline Cafferkey is transported to an RAF Hercules aircraft at Glasgow Airport before being flown to London for treatment at the Royal Free hospital after contracting Ebola.

She was due to be flown in a Hercules plane to RAF Northolt before being driven to the Royal Free hospital in north London, after spending the night at Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth university hospital.

This was the third time she has been admitted to the Royal Free Hospital, which has a specialist infectious diseases unit.

Royal Free Hospital, London

From left: Breda Athan, senior matron and high level isolation unit lead; Dr Michael Jacobs, consultant in infectious diseases; and Pauline Cafferkey

Medical staff at Glasgow were seen preparing a mobile isolation tent, although the NHS insists that her condition poses no public health risk.

The Royal Free said in a statement: "We can confirm that Pauline Cafferkey is being transferred to the Royal Free hospital due to a late complication from her previous infection by the Ebola virus. She will now be treated by the hospital's infectious diseases team under nationally agreed guidelines.

"The Ebola virus can only be transmitted by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person while they are symptomatic so the risk to the general public remains low and the NHS has well established and practised infection control procedures in place."

In a brief statement earlier on Tuesday, the Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Trust said: "Under routine monitoring by the Infectious Diseases Unit Pauline Cafferkey has been admitted to hospital for further investigations."

The Glasgow trust also said that her condition remained stable. Sky News reported that she attended hospital on Monday after "feeling unwell".

This is Cafferkey's third stint in hospital since she returned to the UK in late December 2014. She was thought to have fully recovered in January 2015 at the Royal Free Hospital in London but was then hospitalised again in October.

Despite the Royal Free warning in October that Cafferkey had developed meningitis as a result of the Ebola virus and was "critically ill", she was released in November and returned home to Scotland.

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at patrick.smith@buzzfeed.com.

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