First UK ebola patient arrives in Hampstead

11:12 26 August 2014

Consultant Dr Stephen Mepham and Olly Carpeter in the Royal Free

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

© Nigel Sutton email

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.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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 News Stories

Yesterday, 15:24
Smash and grab raiders were unaware they were being followed by police

Two moped riders who were carrying out a smash and grab burglary at a Hampstead convenience store were unaware police were tracking their every move.

Yesterday, 17:40
Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw. Picture: Joe Giddens

Camden’s primary schools are among the best performing in England – but its secondary schools are still lagging behind neighbouring London boroughs, Ofsted’s annual report reveals today.

Yesterday, 16:47
Yolanda Kenyi with the first gift as part of Highgate's live advent calendar project at Postal Plus in Aylmer Parade. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A privately-run post office kicked off Highgate’s live advent calendar on the first day of December.

Yesterday, 16:00
Archway Resource Centre, on Waterlow Road, provides an irreplaceable setting of community

Eight charities fear for their futures after being evicted from their low-rent premises.

Yesterday, 12:19
Tulip Siddiq is set to vote against bombing Syria

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq said she was likely to vote against the package of measures that Prime Minister David Cameron introduced to the Commons last week.

Mon, 17:56
Squatters at 156 West End Lane in West Hampstead are evicted

Squatters have left empty former council offices in West Hampstead peacefully on Saturday morning after bailiffs arrived.

Mon, 15:11
Evidence for the trial

A woman from Crouch Hill has been disqualified from owning animals for life after keeping dogs in cages stacked on top of each other nearly every day.

Mon, 14:03
Claudia Tabitha, 23, Big Issue vendor. Photo: Polly Hancock

A pregnant Big Issue vendor has been overwhelmed by generous offers of support from local parents.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Win a beautiful monochrome tunic dress with Great British Life!

Great British Life is offering a beautiful monochrome silk tunic dress worth £179 to one lucky reader

Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder