Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey contracts Ebola in Sierra Leone
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A Scottish nurse who had been fighting the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone has contracted the deadly virus. Pauline Cafferkey is the first Briton to be diagnosed with Ebola and is currently being treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London after developing symptoms when back home in Scotland.
39 year old Cafferkey had been part of a NHS healthcare team of medical volunteers with the organisation Save the Children who recently returned to the UK after volunteering in hard hit Sierra Leone. She returned home to Glasgow late on Sunday night via Casablanca and London and begin to experience symptoms of Ebola shortly afterwards.
Early on Monday morning Cafferkey was admitted to a Glasgow hospital where she was placed in an isolation unit. Early this morning she was transferred to The Royal Free hospital in London for further care. Authoriries are busy trying to trace the passengers that would have shared flights with Ms. Cafferkey on all legs of her journey. Health Protection Scotland has already contacted 63 of 70 passengers on the London to Glasgow flight.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made a statement saying Ms. Cafferkey is "doing as well as can be expected in the circumstances". She also attempted to reassure people "that the risk to any other person, including the other passengers on the flights in question in terms of the case that’s been confirmed as positive, is extremely low. I used the word negligible last night and that continues to be a word I would use today."
The low risk to travellers that came into contact with Ms. Cafferkey is due to Ebola only becoming contagious upon symptoms developing which in this case only happened when she reached her home in Scotland. As for the general public, Sturgeon said “The risks to the wider public are extremely negligible. Clearly given the nature of this disease we act on a highly precautionary basis."