British Ebola nurse flies BACK to Sierra Leone to help the fight against the epidemic
William Pooley was the first Brit to contract the virus, and is heading back to Africa to try and ‘prevent as many unnecessary deaths as possible’
The British nurse who survived Ebola has flown back to the country where he caught the virus to rejoin efforts to tackle the epidemic.
William Pooley said he was “delighted” to return to Sierra Leone as he attempts to prevent “as many unnecessary deaths as possible”.
The 29-year-old was due to arrive in the capital Freetown last night before resuming work today in an Ebola isolation unit run by UK medical staff.
He became the first Briton to contract Ebola and was flown back to the UK in August, where he was treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
Mr Pooley, from Eyke in Suffolk, said: “The real emergency is in West Africa, and the teams out there need all the support we can give them.”
He will be working with the King’s Health Partners team, training local staff and helping to set up isolation units.
In neighbouring Guinea, British scientists have arrived to begin work on finding a cure for Ebola. Dr Peter Horby, of the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health at Oxford University, is leading a four-strong team which will fast-track trials on prototype drugs.
At home, a legal wrangle is holding up construction of a new NHS unit for Ebola victims at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle. The dispute between Laing O’Rourke Construction and the city’s NHS Trust is over alleged shoddy work.
There are just two beds dedicated to deal with Ebola victims in the UK – both at the Royal Free.
In Colchester, Essex, a man in his 50s is being treated in isolation at the town’s general hospital after complaining of a fever. He travels regularly to Africa, but health officials say it is unlikely he has Ebola.
Meanwhile, a hospital lab worker from Dallas, Texas, has tested negative for the disease.
The woman had spent most of a cruise holiday on the Carnival Magic in isolation after it was thought she may have been exposed to Ebola.