The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey’s condition has improved significantly.
At a press conference yesterday Dr Michael Jacobs, an infectious diseases consultant at the Royal Free, said that she was unwell with viral meningitis caused by her original ebola infection.
“Over time I anticipate that the virus will be eradicated from her completely”
Ms Cafferkey was first admitted to the high level isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in December 2014, after contracting the disease while working in Sierra Leone.
She was discharged in January this year after making a recovery.
On 8 October 2015 she was re-admitted to the unit after developing late complications from her ebola infection.
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Dr Jacobs said: “I am really pleased she has made a significant improvement.
“She is inside the tent, she is still in bed, but she is talking freely within the tent,” he said.”She has got a long recovery ahead of her and she will be with us for quite a while.”
After careful consideration, Dr Jacobs said that Ms Cafferkey had decided she would take the experimental anti-viral drug GS-5734.
Dr Jacobs added: “I am hopeful Pauline will make a full recovery – maybe it will be with the help of this anti-viral drug, maybe it will be down to her own immune system.
“Over time I anticipate that the virus will be eradicated from her completely,” he said.
Health Protection Scotland described the update as “very welcome news”.
“It is clear that there is some learning still to be done with regard to ebola, and Health Protection Scotland will work with national and international partners to play whatever part it can in that work,” it said in a statement.
It added: “No new close contacts of Pauline Cafferkey have emerged and we continue to monitor the 65 individuals already identified. A number of ebola tests have been carried out and they have all returned negative. All appropriate infection control measures remain in place.”