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Ebola nurse pays tribute to the medics who saved her life

The British nurse who was on the brink of death from Ebola, left hospital tonight saying she is "happy to be alive."

Pauline Cafferkey spent almost a month in a special isolation unit in London, after the disease struck when she returned from voluntary work in Sierra Leone.

Now completely free of the virus, she paid tribute to the hospital staff who saved her life.

Rebecca Barry reports.

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David Cameron praises 'brave' British Ebola nurse

Prime Minister David Cameron has praised nurse Pauline Cafferkey for her bravery following her complete recovery after contracting the Ebola virus.

Mr Cameron said it was "great" seeing her look so well after her battle with the disease.

Scottish nurse out of hospital and free from Ebola

Pauline Cafferkey contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and spent three weeks in hospital. Credit: PA

Scottish nurse, Pauline Cafferkey, who contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone has made a complete recovery and been discharged from hospital.

Pauline Cafferkey is now free of the virus after more than three weeks in hospital, where she was critically ill for a time.

She said she is "happy to be alive" and thanked staff at the Royal Free Hospital in London who she said saved her life.

I feel quite weak, but I'm looking forward to going home. I want to say a big thank you to the staff who treated me... They saved my life."

– Pauline Cafferkey

Ms Cafferkey was diagnosed with Ebola after returning to Glasgow and was initially admitted to the city's Gartnavel Hospital on December 29th, then transferred to the Royal Free the following day.

The nurse, from Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire, had volunteered with Save The Children at the Ebola Treatment Centre in Kerry Town before returning to the UK.

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Ebola efforts 'need to be redoubled' to combat virus

Efforts to fight Ebola must be "redoubled" if the virus is to be eradicated, a doctor involved in experimental vaccine trials to treat it has said.

Dr Jeremy Farrar said despite encouraging news some countries, such as Mali, are now Ebola free, it "continues to take a terrible toll elsewhere".

It comes as vaccines backed by British drugmakers were on their way to LIberia, one of the countries hit hardest by the deadly disease.

Experimental Ebola vaccine shipped to Africa

The Ebola vaccine is being tested in five small phase safety trials. Credit: Reuters

The first batch of an experimental Ebola vaccine has been sent to Liberia, one of the countries hit hardest by the deadly disease.

A shipment of 300 vials will be used in the in the first large-scale vaccine trials over the coming weeks which manufacturers are hoping could help prevent the virus.

But British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) stressed the vaccine was still in development and cannot be deployed until it proves safe and effective.

So far 8,641 people have died from Ebola but the World Health Organization said the outbreak in West Africa appears to be waning.

However, they warned against complacency in an epidemic which has seen 21,724 cases reported in nine countries since it started in Guinea a year ago.

Doctor: At times 'we felt helpless' in fight against Ebola

A British doctor, who flew out to Sierra Leone before Christmas to offer medical assistance during the Ebola crisis, has spoken of his experience and explained that although at times his team felt "helpless" they kept going as they knew they were making a difference.

Doctor Daniel Cooper, who volunteered with the International medical corps, returned to the UK on Friday after risking his life to help those with the virus.

Today, as Mali declared itself Ebola free, Dr Cooper spoke to ITV News about his part in the fight against Ebola:

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