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Ebola nurse being treated with 'experimental drug'

The nurse who is at the Royal Free in Hampstead after contracting Ebola in Sierra Leone has agreed to be treated with an experimental drug, her doctor said today.

Pauline Cafferkey is receiving specialist treatment via a quarantine tent after initially flying home from Heathrow to Glasgow.

Pauline Cafferkey was volunteering in Sierra Leone when she caught the disease Credit: PA

Dr Michael Jacobs said Ms Cafferkey was being treated with convalescent plasma taken from the blood of a recovered patient and an experimental anti-viral drug which is "not proven to work".

She is sitting up and talking. She is able to read. She's been eating a bit, drinking and she's been in communication with her family, which has been really nice.

She's as well as we can hope for at this stage of the illness.

She's had the treatment, it's gone very smoothly, no side-effects at all.

– Dr Michael Jacobs

Health chief tries to calm Ebola fears at Royal Free

The Government's Chief Medical Officer has said that there is no need for other patients being treated at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead to worry about catching Ebola.

Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said other patients at the Royal Free are "safe"

Nurse Pauline Cafferkey was flown to the hospital from Glasgow after catching Ebola in Sierra Leone, and is being treated in an isolation unit.

This patient is in a world-class centre where they know what they're doing. She is being nursed in what we call a Trexler - one of those special plastic tents - by specially trained staff who know what they're doing, and they're not looking after other patients in the hospital.

The hospital is a safe environment for all the patients and their relatives.

– Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer


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Ebola nurse 'had no symptoms' before boarding flight

The Government's chief medical officer has insisted the temperature of the nurse being treated for Ebola was checked before she boarded a flight from Heathrow to Glasgow.

Dame Sally Davies told Good Morning Britain that Pauline Cafferkey "was well" at the airport.

"She had no symptoms - her temperature was within the acceptable range. She would not be transmitting the virus, therefore she was cleared as fit to fly," Dame Sally said.

"Clearly queuing and things like that are unacceptable and we will review, but we will let people who are well travel because they will not infect the public," she added.

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Ebola screening at airports to be reviewed

Screening protocols for Ebola will be reviewed after a nurse being treated for the virus in London was allowed to leave Heathrow Airport.

Pauline Cafferkey, a public health nurse at Blantyre Health Centre in South Lanarkshire, has been receiving specialist treatment at the Royal Free Hospital in London after flying home from Heathrow to Glasgow upon her return from Sierra Leone.

The Government's Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said questions have been raised about airport screening. Credit: PA Wire

The Government's Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said questions have been raised about airport screening, but insisted the procedure was designed to raise public awareness about Ebola rather than to detect every case.

"She was cleared to travel because she didn't have Ebola symptoms including a raised temperature," Dame Sally said.

  1. National

Ebola patient believed to be nurse Pauline Cafferkey

The female nurse undergoing treatment for Ebola at a London hospital is Pauline Cafferkey, ITV News understands.

Pauline Cafferkey, a nurse from Blantyre in South Lanarkshire. Credit: Handout/PA Wire

Ms Cafferkey, who has been a nurse for 16 years, previously said she was inspired to enter the profession after seeing images from the Ethiopian famine during the 1980s.

She had been working in Sierra Leone's Freetown, located in the dangerous Ebola "red zone", before flying back to the UK and had been writing of her experiences in The Scotsman.

Ms Cafferkey was an associate public health nurse at Blantyre Health Centre in South Lanarkshire before flying to Sierra Leone.


Crisis opens its Christmas shelter in London

A guest has a manicure at the shelter which ran last Christmas Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

The charity Crisis has opened the doors at its Christmas shelter, providing hot food and healthcare for homeless people in London until the New Year.

The charity is warning in a new report released today that half of all those living on the streets first become homeless before the age of 21.

It expects to receive 4,000 people this year in all the shelters it runs over the festive period.

Ambulances wait more than 500 hours waiting outside hospitals in a week

London Ambulances spent more than 500 hours waiting outside hospitals last week. Official figures show more than 1,000 ambulances had to wait more than 30 minutes before patients were taken inside to be treated.

Credit: PA

Barbara Hakin, the national director of commissioning operations for NHS England urged patients to help ease the pressure on hospitals by going to their GPs, pharmacists and using the non-emergency 111 helpline, if their condition is not genuinely urgent.

Don't go to A&E, don't call an ambulance, unless that's what you really need.

We've seen record numbers of patients waiting longer for treatment in emergency departments. We've seen emergency admissions at the highest they've been since records began. But to me, the most important thing is really that the entire system is being run at a crisis basis simply in order to keep up with our existing work. That means, of course, that our resilience to a further crisis - a winter crisis, or anything else laid on top of it - is reduced because everybody is at the present time working the system flat-out to serve patients.

– Barbara Hakin, NHS England

Taxing sugary drinks could save London £39m

Taxing sugary drinks could save the NHS in London £39 million over the next twenty years.

The Children's Food Campaign claims charging 20 pence per litre would reduce rates of diabetes, strokes and heart disease, and in doing so reduce pressure on the health service.

The research, published in association with University of Liverpool academic Brendan Collins and FoodActive, shows the impact in London over twenty years would be to:

  • reduce the cases of diabetes by over 6300
  • prevent over 1100 cases of cancer
  • reduce strokes and cases of coronary heart disease by over 4300
  • improve the quality of life for thousands of residents

The London boroughs set to gain the most savings and health benefits from a sugary drinks duty include Croydon, Enfield, Southwark, Bromley, Newham and Lewisham.

In addition, the impact on calorie reduction will be greatest in boroughs such as Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Barking and Dagenham and Haringey, which have the highest proportion of demographics who consume the most sugary drinks.

Ebola test

London's resilience arrangements in dealing with a potential Ebola virus incident in the capital will be examined today. Public Health England will meet with the Greater London Authority Oversight Committee to look at plans to cope with any cases of the deadly disease.

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