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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charity nurse no longer critical with Ebola

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​Medics say Pauline Cafferkey is fighting infection

A Scottish nurse who contracted Ebola while working for an aid charity is no longer critically ill, medics treating her have said.

Pauline Cafferkey, 39, from Cambuslang, caught the disease while volunteering for Save The Children in Sierra Leone.

The charity has launched an investigation into how she contracted Ebola, which has killed thousands in west Africa.

She is being treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London where staff announced on Monday (12 January) that her condition had improved.

Pauline Cafferkey

She remains in isolation as she receives specialist care for the Ebola virus

Pauline Cafferkey

A full statement from the hospital said: "The Royal Free Hospital is pleased to announce that Pauline Cafferkey is showing signs of improvement and is no longer critically ill.

"She remains in isolation as she receives specialist care for the Ebola virus."

Ms Cafferkey has been treated with experimental drugs and has received blood plasma from another British nurse, Will Pooley, who recovered from an Ebola infection last year.

She had travelled home to Scotland via Casablanca, Morocco, and Heathrow Airport in London.

Ms Cafferkey was initially screened at Heathrow, where her temperature was normal, despite telling officials that she felt unwell.

Her temperature was taken a further six times within 30 minutes, but it was normal each time and she was cleared to fly on to Scotland.

Ms Cafferkey was then placed in an isolation unit at Glasgow's Gartnavel Hospital after becoming feverish, before being transferred by RAF Hercules plane to London on 30 December, and taken to the Royal Free's specialist treatment centre.

Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, such as blood, vomit or faeces.

The virus has killed more than 7,800 people, almost all in West Africa, since it broke out a year ago.

The World Health Organization says the number of people infected by the disease in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea has now passed 20,000.