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Royal Free Ebola patient to be given experimental new drug ZMapp

PUBLISHED: 17:19 26 August 2014 | UPDATED: 08:48 27 August 2014

Dr. Michael Jacobs, clinical lead in Infectious Diseases at the Royal Free Hospital, is in charge of treating the Ebola patient. Picture: Stefan Rousseau

Dr. Michael Jacobs, clinical lead in Infectious Diseases at the Royal Free Hospital, is in charge of treating the Ebola patient. Picture: Stefan Rousseau

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The first Briton to contract the deadly Ebola virus is being treated with experimental new drug ZMapp, doctors at the Royal Free have said.

'We're well equipped to deal with any Ebola infection' say Olly Carpeter and consultant Dr Stephen Mepham in the Royal Free's 
infectious disease unit. Picture: Nigel Sutton'We're well equipped to deal with any Ebola infection' say Olly Carpeter and consultant Dr Stephen Mepham in the Royal Free's infectious disease unit. Picture: Nigel Sutton

William Pooley, 29, is receiving urgent treatment at the Infectious Diseases Unit at the hospital in 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.

But the team at the Royal Free, who said they were working “round the clock”, managed to use their “clinical contacts” to obtain experimental new drug ZMapp.

ZMapp has been dubbed by some as the “cure” after two aid US workers were successfully treated for Ebola after taking it.

Dr Michael Jacobs, consultant and clinical lead in infectious diseases at the hospital, said today: “We have had the opportunity to give him the ZMapp treatment that I am sure you are aware of.

“It is an experimental medicine, we made that absolutely clear in our discussions with [William].”

Dr Jacobs added: “What has become apparent to us is that he is clearly a rather resilient and remarkable young man.”

Related stories:

First UK ebola patient arrives in Hampstead

Hampstead becomes UK’s ‘front line’ of defence against Ebola outbreak

Inside Royal Free Hospital isolation ward for killer diseases

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