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Nurse Pauline Cafferkey fighting for her life following Ebola relapse

Published 15/10/2015

Pauline Cafferkey is being treated in an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London
Pauline Cafferkey is being treated in an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London

A nurse who is being treated for a late complication of an Ebola infection is now "critically ill" after her condition "deteriorated", the hospital treating her has said.

Pauline Cafferkey (39) was admitted to the isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London last Friday after becoming unwell in Glasgow.

A hospital official said: "We are sad to announce that Pauline Cafferkey's condition has deteriorated and she is now critically ill.

"She is being treated for Ebola in the high level isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital."

Ms Cafferkey had been flown to an isolation unit at the hospital in a military aircraft.

She had become unwell earlier in the week and was treated at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

A total of 58 close contacts of the nurse have been identified, with 40 of those offered vaccinations as a precaution.

Officials confirmed 25 of them accepted the vaccine while 15 have either declined or were unable to receive it due to existing medical conditions.

The 58 people are a mixture of healthcare workers and friends, family and community contacts.

Ms Cafferkey was diagnosed with Ebola in December after returning to Glasgow from Sierra Leone via London.

She spent almost a month in an isolation unit at the Royal Free before being discharged in late January.

Scientists agree that bodily tissues can harbour the Ebola infection months after the person appears to have fully recovered.

Ms Cafferkey's family have claimed doctors "missed a big opportunity" to spot she had fallen ill with Ebola again.

Her sister Toni Cafferkey said the way she had been treated was "absolutely diabolical". She said Ms Cafferkey had gone to a GP out-of-hours clinic at the Victoria Hospital in Glasgow on Monday night but the doctor who assessed her diagnosed a virus and sent her home. Ms Cafferkey won an award at the Pride of Britain Awards in central London on September 28.

She met the Prime Minister's wife Samantha Cameron the following day at Downing Street.

Belfast Telegraph

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