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Charity starts investigation into how UK nurse contracted ebola


A special investigation into how UK nurse Pauline Cafferkey contracted ebola has been launched by the charity she was volunteering with in Sierra Leone.

Ms Cafferkey’s condition has deteriorated in the past few days, despite hopes that an experimental anti-viral drug and blood plasma treatment given to her could lead to recovery.

The 39-year old nurse from Glasgow was admitted to the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust last week after returning to the UK from work at an ebola treatment centre in Kerry Town.

She was given convalescent plasma taken from the blood of a patient who has survived ebola alongside an unnamed drug.

However, the Royal Free confirmed at the weekend that her condition had gradually deteriorated and was now critical.

“Because of this very serious event, we have put in an extraordinary review to ensure that we leave no stone unturned”

Rob MacGillavray

Save the Children’s Sierra Leone director Rob MacGillavray said the charity was conducting an “extraordinary” review to find out how and where Ms Cafferkey contracted the disease.

He told the BBC that the investigation would go further than the charity’s ongoing review of safety measures for staff working within and outside ebola treatment centres.

“Because of this very serious event, we have put in an extraordinary review to ensure that we do everything, leave no stone unturned and be able to – as far as is possible – identify the source of this infection,” said Mr MacGillavray.

He added that the investigation would focus on how personal protective equipment was being used – including how it is put on and taken off – as well as what kind of contact there had been between volunteers and people with ebola, both at and outside of the treatment centre.

“We are confident that our protocols are working and there will be a summary of the results once the review is finished,” he said.


Readers' comments (3)

  • Am I naive in thinking there should be a quarantine? I'd be interested to hear views as to why not.

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  • Anonymous | 5-Jan-2015 2:53 pm

    yes you need to find the evidence to support your arguments for the necessity of quarantine or not. you cannot just subject people to it just to satisfy your own whims if it serves no useful purpose.

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  • No of course not but I'd like to see evidence as to why not. I'm not saying there should or shouldn't but it would be informative to see reasons yay and nay.

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