A British nurse has begun treatment for Ebola at a hospital in north-west London, after contracting the virus in Sierra Leone.
William Pooley, 29, volunteered to visit west Africa, the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak, to help treat victims of the virus, and was described as a “remarkable man” by a US scientist who worked alongside him.
Pooley was evacuated from Sierre Leone in a specially-equipped military aircraft on Sunday to RAF Northolt, near Uxbridge, on Sunday. He was then transferred under police escort to Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital where he is now receiving treatment.
At the Royal Free Hospital, Pooley is kept in a specialist isolation unit, the only of its type in Europe, where medical staff interact with him through a specialised plastic/rubber tent.
Current treatment for Ebola is just a saline drip to replace lost fluids, but doctors are in contact with US-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical, who develop the experimental ZMapp drug that was used to successfully treat two Americans infected with the disease earlier this month.
Mapp Biopharmaceutical had sent its stockpiles of ZMapp to Liberia to help treat those infected in West Africa, but the company had been working on producing greater quantities of the drug.
So far 1,427 people have died in the current outbreak of Ebola in west Africa, with the virus spreading at unprecedented speed and having infected 2,615 people since March.