Ebola Nurse Returns to Hospital Under Police Escort

A nurse who was infected with the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone in 2014, has been taken to hospital in Glasgow under police escort. 

Pauline Cafferkey, 40, first became ill from the Ebola virus she contracted while volunteering in Sierra Leone on her return in late December 2014. She flew on from Heathrow to her home in Glasgow, where she was admitted to hospital with a fever later confirmed as Ebola infection. She was flown to London’s Royal Free hospital, which has a specialist isolation unit for Ebola patients.

She nearly died, but when she was pronounced out of danger in January 2015, it was thought the virus had been cleared from her system. But that October, she became critically ill once again and was admitted again to the Royal Free. Her case astonished experts, as the first where the virus had lurked in her brain or spinal cord undetected and then attacked once more, causing meningitis, which nearly killed her.

She has had long-term problems as a result of the second attack, including muscle weakness in a leg, which has meant she cannot run as she used to do.

A third admission to the Royal Free turned out to be a false alarm, but the experts have no idea whether she could have Ebola virus still hiding and undetectable somewhere in her body because too little is known about the virus and the disease.

Last month she was cleared of wrongdoing at a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing in Edinburgh.

Ms Cafferkey was accused of putting the public at risk by hiding her high temperature at the PHE unit before being allowed to fly on to Glasgow.  She was also charged with taking paracetamol, which would have lowered her temperature.

However, she was cleared after a two day hearing when the NMC panel ruled she was in a “diminished medical state” and merely “swept along by events”. It found no attempt to mislead PHE doctors.

Information / News Sources www.theguardian.com, www.bbc.com, www.telegraph.co.uk on 2016.10.06
Image Source www.bbc.com

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