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Ebola Patient Pauline Cafferkey Lying In Critical Condition

The Scottish nurse who recently returned from Sierra Leone has been named as Pauline Cafferkey. This post has been updated.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Despite attempts to save her life using an experimental drug, Pauline Cafferkey, a British nurse diagnosed with Ebola, is now in critical condition, according to a spokesperson of the hospital where she is being treated.

Royal Free Hospital told the BBC it was "sorry to announce that the condition of Pauline Cafferkey has gradually deteriorated over the past two days".

The second patient being tested for Ebola in Scotland has tested negative for the virus, the Scottish government announced on Tuesday evening.

A statement declared: "A patient at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary has tested negative for Ebola.

"The individual was transferred to the hospital by the Scottish Ambulance Service yesterday after falling ill while visiting Torridon in the Scottish Highlands.

"As a returning health care worker who had recently been in west Africa, they were tested for Ebola as a precaution, although they had not been in contact with anyone who had the disease. A blood sample was taken to the testing facility in Edinburgh and has been confirmed as negative for Ebola."

The BBC has tweeted a patient in Cornwall has also tested negative after undergoing tests on Tuesday.

The Scottish healthcare worker who was diagnosed with Ebola on Monday has been named as Pauline Cafferkey, The Telegraph has reported.

Cafferkey was an associate public health nurse at Blantyre Health Centre in South Lanarkshire before flying to Sierra Leone’s Freetown.

She wrote about her experience in a diary for The Scotsman. The newspaper said she had been a nurse for 16 years and was inspired to go into the profession after seeing images of the Ethiopian famine in the 1980s.

She flew out to Sierra Leone in November, along with four other Scottish medical staff, after becoming a Save the Children volunteer.

In the diary she talks about being ill during her first week:

I was ill the other day, either from over-hydration as not enough salts in my body or heat exhaustion. It's very difficult to judge the amount of fluid needed as the quantities we loose are immense.

The ORS [oral rehydration salts] which get added to water to help balance out the body's salt and sugars that are being lost are not the most palatable. I vomited out of the minibus window on the way home – luckily I managed to avoid any splash back and being decapitated.

And talks of the conditions she has been working in:

The PPE [personal protective equipment] alien-type suit that I have to wear when going into the positive Red Zone is horrendous. It takes about 20 minutes to dress and 15 minutes to take the suit off at the other end. They would certainly be beneficial on a cold winter's night in Scotland but working in them in 30-degree heat is uncomfortable to say the least. On the up side, I feel very well protected.

I feel sorry for the poor patients who have these alien-type people caring for them. Especially so for the young children, who are not only very sick but have these strange creatures with only their eyes visible trying to make them drink and take medications.

UK nurse with #Ebola, Pauline Cafferkey, told BBC she was "prepared for risks" - interview: http://t.co/rmLcIQBWqf

BBC News (UK)@BBCNewsFollow

UK nurse with #Ebola, Pauline Cafferkey, told BBC she was "prepared for risks" - interview: http://t.co/rmLcIQBWqf

12:54 PM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

During a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said Cafferkey was “doing as well as can be expected in the circumstances”.

Cathal Mcnaughton / Reuters

She added that 63 of 70 people who were on the flight from London's Heathrow airport to Glasgow at the weekend had been contacted by the authorities, The Guardian reported.

Sturgeon claimed there was a “very low probability” of a second person testing positive for Ebola in Scotland.

The Guardian quoted her as saying:

The latest update we have on the condition of the patient is that she is doing as well as can be expected in the circumstances.

We're not going to provide a running commentary at this stage on the clinical condition of the patient for reasons I am sure you will understand. If there are any material developments then they will be conveyed to the media as is appropriate.

But I think the most important thing is that the patient and the clinical team caring for her are given the space and the privacy to make sure that she gets the best possible treatment and given the best possible chance of a speedy and full recovery.

I will take the opportunity, I'm sure on behalf of everyone in the country, of wishing her all the best and wishing her that speedy recovery.

Prime minister David Cameron earlier chaired a COBRA meeting on Ebola, which Sturgeon attended.

I'm about to chair a COBRA on Ebola. Safety measures are working well - and the risk to the public is extremely low.:

David Cameron@David_CameronFollow

I'm about to chair a COBRA on Ebola. Safety measures are working well - and the risk to the public is extremely low.:

11:57 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Defence secretary Michael Fallon also praised the RAF and NHS staff who helped transport Cafferkey from Glasgow to London on Tuesday morning.

1/3 Def Sec: I wish to praise the professionalism of RAF’s C130 aircrew and NHS staff who transported the UK Ebola Virus patient to London.

Ministry of Defence@DefenceHQFollow

1/3 Def Sec: I wish to praise the professionalism of RAF’s C130 aircrew and NHS staff who transported the UK Ebola Virus patient to London.

10:31 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

2/3 Def Sec: This has again demonstrated the benefits and capability that the Armed Forces bring to the UK as a whole.

Ministry of Defence@DefenceHQFollow

2/3 Def Sec: This has again demonstrated the benefits and capability that the Armed Forces bring to the UK as a whole.

10:31 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

3/3 Def Sec: Our thoughts remain with the patient and their family at this time.

Ministry of Defence@DefenceHQFollow

3/3 Def Sec: Our thoughts remain with the patient and their family at this time.

10:32 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Original story below:

A female healthcare worker who was diagnosed with Ebola on Monday after returning to Scotland from Sierra Leone has been transferred to a specialist centre in London.

Stringer / Reuters

The woman is now set to receive care at the Royal Free Hospital in the north of the UK capital.

She was flown to RAF Northolt from Glasgow Airport after leaving Gartnavel Hospital just before 3am.

Sky News said the woman is thought to have been a volunteer for the charity Save the Children.

Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

She arrived in Glasgow on Sunday on a British Airways flight, having travelled via Casablanca and London Heathrow, and was admitted to hospital early on Monday before being placed in isolation.

She is said to be in a stable condition.

Attempts are now being made to track down the other 71 passengers who travelled on the BA flight from London to Glasgow on Sunday night. The BBC quoted the airline as saying:

We are working closely with the health authorities in England and Scotland and will offer assistance with any information they require.

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.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the government was doing “everything it needs to” to keep the British public safe, the BBC reported.

Stringer / Reuters

The unit at Royal Free Hospital is where British nurse William Pooley was successfully treated after being diagnosed with Ebola in August.

A helpline has been set up for anyone on Flight BA 1478 from Heathrow to Glasgow at the weekend. The number is 08000 858531.

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Meanwhile, Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said on Tuesday morning that a second patient in Scotland is being tested for Ebola after returning from West Africa.

A patient in Truro, Cornwall, is also being tested for the virus as a precautionary measure.

Richard James is acting head of news for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Richard James at richard.james@buzzfeed.com.

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