max temp: 12°C

min temp: 2°C


Suffolk: British volunteer nurse, William Pooley, who contracted deadly Ebola in Sierra Leone is from Eyke

07:48 25 August 2014

Liberian soldiers scan people for signs of the Ebola virus, as they control people from entering the West Point area in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, at the weekend. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

Liberian soldiers scan people for signs of the Ebola virus, as they control people from entering the West Point area in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, at the weekend. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

A British volunteer nurse who contracted deadly Ebola in Sierra Leone is from Eyke, near Woodbridge, it has emerged.

The high level isolation area in the high secure infectious disease unit at The Royal Free Hospital, London. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA WireThe high level isolation area in the high secure infectious disease unit at The Royal Free Hospital, London. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

William Pooley, 29, is being treated at a specialist hospital after being evacuated to the UK.

He was named by Dr Robert Garry, an American scientist who worked at the same hospital as him in the west Africa country.

It is the first confirmed case of a Briton contracting the virus during the recent outbreak.

There is no cure for Ebola and outbreaks have a fatality rate of up to 90%.

Mr Pooley tested positive for Ebola after treating patients suffering from the virus at Kenema Government Hospital (KGH) in the south-east of Sierra Leone.

He was airlifted to the UK on a specially equipped C17 Royal Air Force jet, landing at RAF Northolt in west London at 9pm. He was then transported to the UK’s only high level isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London.

The Department of Health said he was not “seriously unwell”. Health chiefs insisted that the risk to the British public from Ebola is “very low”.

Dr Garry, of Tulane University in New Orleans, US, has worked at KGH for around a decade on a virus research project.

He said he was told by a university colleague that the test results for Mr Pooley were received in the early hours of Saturday morning.

“They worked as hard as they could, as fast as humanly possible to make these arrangements,” he said.

“Of course they were wanting to make sure that he got the best care possible. It was kind of a remarkable turnaround, barely over 24 hours (later) he was heading towards that plane.”

Mr Pooley was working at a hospice in the capital Freetown but moved to Kenema when he heard that other healthcare workers at KGH had died from Ebola.

In an interview with a blogger for freetownfashpack.com published earlier this month, he is reported to have said: “It’s the easiest situation in the world to make a difference.

“I’m not particularly experienced or skilled, but I can do the job and I am actually helping.”

Dr Garry paid tribute to Mr Pooley’s decision to treat Ebola sufferers.

“It’s a very honourable thing. He saw the need. He read about our nurses who were unfortunately dying there and took it on himself to come over and volunteer and learned how to be as safe as he could.

“But when you work hard like that, when you put in so many hours, you’re going to make a mistake and unfortunately that seems to have happened in this case.

“I just hope the best for him, that he can get the best treatment he can get.

“He’s a young man, he’s got a good chance. It was caught early.”

Mr Pooley’s bed at the Royal Free Hospital is surrounded by a specially-designed tent with its own controlled ventilation system. Only specially-trained medical staff are allowed inside the unit.

Professor John Watson, deputy chief medical officer, insisted that “the overall risk to the public in the UK remains very low”.

He said: “We have robust, well-developed and well-tested NHS systems for managing unusual infectious diseases when they arise, supported by a wide range of experts.

“UK hospitals have a proven record of dealing with imported infectious diseases and this patient will be isolated and will receive the best care possible.”

Dr Paul Cosford, director for health protection at Public Health England, said protective measures would be strictly maintained to avoid the virus being transmitted to staff transporting the patient and healthcare workers in the UK.

He added: “For Ebola to be transmitted from one person to another contact with blood or other body fluids is needed and as such, the risk to the general population remains very low.”

Dr Bob Winter, national clinical director for emergency preparedness and critical care for NHS England, said preparations have been made over the past few weeks to ensure any patient being repatriated to the UK receives the best possible care.

If you know Mr Pooley and would like to get in contact call the newsteam on 01473 324802 or email matt.hunter@archant.co.uk



  • My only concern which is a valid and reasonable point, is as to whether we should be letting people with serious illness back home till they are well. We have all seen the sci fi movies where something innocent creates a pandemic. Get well soon.

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • omg dude!! wicked, helping others!! Jes stay in that tent and don't come near me when your out, bro!! Piece and love! Piece and love!!

    Report this comment

    Roger RamsBottom

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • William Pooley is a brave man, a hero, and his family are rightly proud of him. Here's wishing him a full recovery.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Bogus caller victim. Library image.

A Hadleigh resident has fallen prey to a phone scam run by crooks posing as bogus police officers.

Museum bosses have gone back to the drawing board following their lottery bid rejection.

Hopes of a multi-million-pound lottery windfall for Ipswich Museum have been dashed – forcing borough chiefs to reconsider the ambitious £23m project to transform the High Street campus.

High winds are set to hit Suffolk and Essex. PA Photo: Chris Ison.

A yellow weather warning for high winds has been issued by the Met Office for Essex and Suffolk across the weekend.

Cannabis was found at Ipswich house

An illegal immigrant is facing a jail term after police found nearly 400 plants and seedlings at a cannabis factory set up in an east Ipswich house.

Orwell Bridge

A man from the Ipswich area has died after falling from the Orwell Bridge, police said today.

Sergeant Ash Jackobs (31) from Felixstowe during 

Chefs from Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade have been wild cooking to prepare for operations in tough environments.

Suffolk County Council's cabinet arrived at Elstree today - the home of the Star Wars franchise.

The day after county councillors discussed cutting millions from the authority’s budget over the next two years, its cabinet members are on a £4,000 training course at the world famous Elstree studios.

The release of the John Lewis advert has become an much-anticipated event in recent years. Picture: John Lewis/PA

Christmas adverts have boomed in recent years with the likes of John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and Tesco leading the way.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Rail services running through Bury St Edmunds face delays of up to 25 minutes or cancellation due to a train fault.

Ben Gummer and Mark Pendlington at Ipswich rail station.

Campaigners seeking to improve rail services between East Anglia and London have insisted that the new report into infrastructure is good for the region – because it makes little reference to the route.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24