British nurse survives Ebola after ZMapp treatment

William Pooley Photo Credit: Theguardian.com

A British nurse, William Pooley, who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and was treated with the experimental drug, Zmapp, has recovered and has been discharged from hospital.

American manufacturers said they had run out of stock of the magic drug when the Nigerian government requested for its use for treating Nigerian health workers who contracted the deadly virus.

But after Mr. Pooley was diagnosed with the virus and transported home, he received the scarce treatment late August.

He was treated at the Royal Free Hospital in UK. The drug had earlier been used in treating two Americans who contracted the disease while working in Liberia early August, and Liberian doctors.

One Liberian doctor died despite the treatment, and Spanish priest also died after receiving the drug.

Mr. Pooley described himself as “very lucky” to have survived after contracting the virus while volunteering in a Sierra Leone hospital.

A volunteer nurse, he was the first Briton known to have contracted the virus. He was flown back to the UK for treatment on August 24.

Mr. Pooley, 29, was cared for at a special unit at the Royal Free Hospital in north London and was discharged Wednesday morning.

Speaking at a press conference in the United Kingdom, he said the symptoms in him never progressed to the worst stages of the disease.

According to him, he had very high temperature for a few days from the day he was evacuated in Sierra Leone but never progressed to the stage of vomiting.

“I was very lucky in several ways,” he was quoted by UK Telegraph as saying. “Firstly in the standard of care which I received, which is a world apart from what people are receiving in West Africa at the moment despite a lot of aid organisations’ best efforts.”

“My symptoms never progressed to the worst stages of the disease. (Compared to) the people that I’ve seen dying horrible deaths, I had some unpleasant symptoms but nothing compared to the worst of the disease,” Mr. Pooley said.

Mr. Pooley was airlifted back to Britain in a specially equipped C17 RAF aircraft.

According to his colleagues, he contracted the virus through contact with blood or other bodily fluids, because he was working such long periods and must have made mistakes.

Experts had predicted it could be months before Mr. Pooley, credited with saving dozen of lives, would be cleared.


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