Pauline Cafferkey praises Royal Free's 'amazing care' during Ebola relapse

Nurse is reunited with friends and family after treatment for Ebola complications

Nurse Pauline Cafferkey has recovered from Ebola for a second time – and from a bout of meningitis caused by the virus.

 Breda Athan, senior matron and high level isolation unit lead; Dr Michael Jacobs, consultant in infectious diseases; and Pauline Cafferkey

She was discharged from the isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London, where she had been treated for the past month. She was flown to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow to continue her recovery and is no longer infectious.

Ms Cafferkey was initially treated for Ebola in January. But after seeming to recover, she became seriously ill again last month because the virus, which had remained present in her brain and spinal column, caused meningitis. She was admitted to hospital in Glasgow before being transferred to London. At one point her condition was critical.

Speaking before her return to Scotland, Ms Cafferkey said: ‘I am forever thankful for the amazing care I have received at the Royal Free.

‘For a second time, staff across many departments of the hospital have worked incredibly hard to help me recover and I will always be grateful to them and the NHS.’

She added she was looking forward to being reunited with family and friends, some of whom were among the 65 people confirmed to have been in contact with her before her relapse.

Around 40 of them were offered an experimental vaccine against Ebola and 26 of them accepted.

A Royal Free spokesperson said: ‘We are delighted Pauline has made a full recovery and is now well enough to return to Scotland. We would like to wish her well for the future.’

Ms Cafferkey, from South Lanarkshire, contracted Ebola while working as a nurse at a Save the Children treatment centre in Sierra Leone. She was diagnosed in December last year after returning to Glasgow.


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