Search

First UK ebola patient arrives in Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 11:12 26 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:17 26 August 2014

Consultant Dr Stephen Mepham and Olly Carpeter in the Royal Free's 
infectious disease unit. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Consultant Dr Stephen Mepham and Olly Carpeter in the Royal Free's infectious disease unit. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The first Briton to contract the deadly Ebola virus during the recent outbreak in west Africa has arrived for treatment in Hampstead after being flown back from Sierra Leone.

William Pooley, 29, is receiving urgent treatment by doctors at the Infectious Diseases Unit in the Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, after being flown back on a specialist RAF jet on Sunday.

Mr Pooley, a volunteer nurse, tested positive for Ebola after treating patients suffering from the virus at Kenema Government Hospital (KGH) in the south-east of Sierra Leone.

There is no cure for Ebola and outbreaks have a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent.

The department of health said he was not “seriously unwell” and health chiefs insisted that the risk to the British public from Ebola is “very low”.

Professor John Watson, the UK’s deputy chief medical officer, said: “We have robust, well-developed and well-tested NHS systems for managing unusual infectious diseases when they arise, supported by a wide range of experts.

“UK hospitals have a proven record of dealing with imported infectious diseases and this patient will be isolated and will receive the best care possible.”

Mr Pooley’s parents have already praised the “excellent care” their son is receiving at the Royal Free.

They said: “We would like to express our thanks to all involved in bringing our son back to the UK.

“We have been astounded by the speed and way which the various international and UK government agencies have worked together to get Will home.

“Will is receiving excellent care at the Royal Free Hospital and we could not ask for him to be in a better place.

“We would like to thank all our family and friends for their best wishes and ask everyone to remember those in other parts of the world suffering with Ebola who do not have access to the same healthcare facilities as Will.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has put the number of people infected with the deadly virus at 2,615.

Some 1,427 have died since the disease was identified in Guinea in March and spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.

Earlier this month, the Ham&High reported that Hampstead had become a “front line of defence” against the potential spread of the disease, with the Royal Free having the country’s only two beds fully equipped to deal with infections.

Doctors at the Royal Free’s Infectious Diseases Unit said the risk to the UK remained small but at the time said that plans to transform other parts of the hospital into isolation wards had been made should more than two infected patients arrive for treatment.

Dr Paul Cosford, director for health protection at Public Health England, said protective measures would be strictly maintained to avoid the virus being transmitted to staff transporting the patient and healthcare workers in the UK.

He added: “For Ebola to be transmitted from one person to another contact with blood or other body fluids is needed and as such, the risk to the general population remains very low.”

Rigorous quarantine measures are used to stop the spread of Ebola, as well as high standards of hygiene for anyone who might come into contact with sufferers.

Symptoms of the virus appear as a sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and, in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

A mother-of-nine and her nephew became innocent victims of a “vendetta of violence” when they were shot dead in their own home in East Finchley, the Old Bailey has heard.

Fire crews tackled a blaze that tore through a three-storey terraced house in Kentish Town.

12:18

The future of a family centre which is battling a lack of funding is closer to being secured after 127 children took part in a fun run.

07:00

The tragic death of nine-year-old chess champion Michael Uriely from an asthma attack is hearbreaking enough.

The Whittington Hospital’s fertility centre is opening its own sperm bank and calling for men between 18 and 40 to donate.

10:52

A man was subjected to a “disgraceful and prolonged” sexual assault on a busy Victoria Line train between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross.

10:19

Police are searching for a man after presents were stolen from a Primrose Hill home on Christmas Eve.

Yesterday, 14:09

The Alternative Clothes Show returned to Crouch End last Saturday, March 25, where students from City and Islington College joined local models to showcase a range of dazzling outfits crafted using recycled materials.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now