September 19 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Doctors caring for a Suffolk aid volunteer who became Britain’s first confirmed Ebola sufferer last night said there had been no change in his condition.
William Pooley, 29, of Eyke, near Woodbridge contracted the potentially deadly virus while in Sierra Leone, where he had been volunteering at the Ebola centre in Kenema.
He was flown back to the UK for emergency treatment in an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in north London, where he was given the first dose of the experimental drug ZMapp on Monday.
Michael Jacobs, consultant and clinical lead in infectious diseases at the Royal Free Hospital, said: “We have had the opportunity to give him the ZMapp treatment.
“It is an experimental medicine, we made that absolutely clear in our discussions with him.”
Mr Pooley, pictured, is receiving round-the-clock, but experts said his treatment could take weeks, if not longer, and there is no guarantee he will survive.
Dr Jacobs added: “We are giving him the very best care possible. However, the next few days will be crucial.”
Last night, a spokesman for the hospital said Mr Pooley’s doctors had reported no updates to his condition.
Mr Pooley has been praised by colleagues as “particularly brave” after he risked his life to volunteer at the Kenema Government Hospital when he heard about the pressing need for medics facing the Ebola crisis.
Dr Oliver Johnson, who worked with him in Sierra Leone, said he was an “extraordinary guy” who knew the risks involved but was prepared to take them for the sake of the patients.
The disease is highly infectious, but health chiefs have insisted the risk to the British public “remains very low”.