The Ebola crisis has claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people and has been described as the worst health emergency seen in modern times.
But as the disease swept across West Africa teams of scientists at Oxford University worked tirelessly to develop an effective treatment.
At a conference many were awarded the Ebola Medal for service, but they also looked at whether they can react even faster in the face of another outbreak. Juliette Fletcher reports
He's been a frontline paramedic for thirty five years. But now Chris Williams from Sussex has used his medical training to help Ebola patients in West Africa. Chris has just returned home after spending six weeks at an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone. He was part of a group of British volunteers deployed to the region. Tom Savvides talks to Chris Williams and Dr Ben Neuman at the University of Reading.
An aid worker potentially exposed to Ebola is being monitored at a Surrey Hospital after arriving from Sierra Leone.
It's reported the volunteer was transferred from Gatwick Airport to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill last night to be assessed.
Public Health England says the individual has not been diagnosed with Ebola, does not currently have any symptoms, and their risk of developing the infection remains low.
The patient will be monitored for any symptoms for the remainder of their 21-day incubation period, in line with standard procedures for returning workers.
Dr Jenny Harries, regional director for Public Health England, said: 'The risk to the public posed by these and indeed any of the returning workers is extremely low. We are confident that all appropriate public health actions have been taken, and will continue to be taken, to support these individuals and to protect the public's health.'
This morning saw the first UK reserves and 100 of their regular counterparts depart for Sierra Leone where they will help to tackle the Ebola outbreak.
The regular and reserve personnel from across the three Services departed from RAF Brize Norton alongside members of the Canadian military.
Once in country, personnel will take over from clinicians attached to 22 Field Hospital, who have been deployed since October, manning the 12 bed facility reserved to treat healthcare workers with Ebola.
The 60th and last healthy volunteer will receive the Ebola vaccine in a trial carried out by the University of Oxford today.
The first volunteer in the UK trial at Oxford University was vaccinated on September 17, two weeks after the first volunteer in the USA. This allowed further trials in Mali and then Switzerland to begin shortly afterwards in October.
Almost 200 people have received a candidate Ebola vaccine in little more than two months in safety trials carried out in the USA, UK, Mali and Switzerland.
If the safety and immunogenicity data from the Phase 1 trials are promising, the expectation is that the vaccine will move into the next phases of study to further evaluate safety as well as effectiveness in protecting against Ebola infection in African countries.
The Oxford trial is being funded under a £2.8 million grant from the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council and the UK Department for International Development.
Professor Adrian Hill of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, who is leading the Oxford trial, said: "The response we have seen from people coming forward to take part has been remarkable."
The loading of 40 tonnes of emergency equipment to help stop the spread of Ebola in Liberia has taken place this morning at the Oxfam emergency warehouse in Bicester, Oxfordshire.
Some £227,000 worth of water and sanitation equipment, including a drilling rig, generator, water tanks, pipes, taps and buckets, will be sent over to the country.
Screening for Ebola at Gatwick Airport will begin, say Public Health Enland.
It will start in North Terminal, then checks will begin at South Terminal,
followed by St Pancras (Eurostar) later this week, a spokesman said.
He added: "This expands the screening initiated at Heathrow last week, which
is going well. Manchester and Birmingham airports will follow in the coming
"Screening is being undertaken to help ensure individuals arriving from
high-risk areas know what to do if they start feeling ill, and can receive
expert advice immediately. We are also providing all general practices,
emergency departments, and pharmacies in England with awareness posters from
this week. Public Health England will continue to consider other appropriate
The screening is taking place for passengers that Border Force officers
identify as having travelled from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.<
Passengers have their temperature taken and complete a questionnaire asking
about their current health, recent travel history and whether they might be at
potential risk through contact with Ebola patients.<
Based on the information provided and their temperature, passengers will either
be given advice and allowed to continue their journey, or undergo a clinical
assessment by PHE staff and if necessary be transferred to hospital for further
More troops, funding and medical staff are urgently needed to prevent the Ebola outbreak becoming the "definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation", Oxfam has warned.
The UK-based charity said there was less than a two-month window to curb the spread of the deadly virus but there remained a "crippling shortfall" in military personnel to provide logistical support across west Africa.
The charity said it was "extremely rare" to call for military intervention but troops were "desperately needed" to build treatment centres, provide flights and offer engineering and logistical support.
Oxfam also called for European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday to follow the UK's lead in pledging £125m in response to the Ebola crisis.
Heathrow has become the first airport in the country to start screening passengers for Ebola.
Only travellers arriving from at risk countries will be checked. The monitoring includes taking temperatures and the completion of questionnaires.
The screening started at Heathrow's Terminal 1 today. It will be extended to other terminals, Gatwick airport and Eurostar by the end of this week.
ITV Meridian spoke to these passengers...