Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

3 comments

  • 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

    Boris

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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

Jack London, Connor Woods and Mason Hodds collecting GCSE results last summer at Ormiston Denes Academy

Just one Suffolk school is considered to be under-performing in updated 2016 secondary school performance levels that measures the progress students make between the ages of 11 and 16.

Ipswich Magistrates Court on Elm Street.

An uninsured Suffolk driver who sparked a five-hour full-scale police search after fleeing a crash scene and then lied to an officer has been given a community order.

Rebecca Deferia near Ipswich Crown Court.

A Suffolk woman accused of hatching a plan with her wealthy father to have her former partner murdered by three hitmen after their relationship ended acrimoniously has been cleared today after a judge threw out the case against her.

Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Chris Radburn/PA Wire

A woman has been taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital after suffering a head injury during a car crash in west Suffolk this morning.

Traffic congestion in Ipswich is set to get worse unless we change our way of getting to work.

Suffolk County Council’s publication of possible routes for a northern by-pass for Ipswich does take the project forward – but there is a very long way to go before any new road is built.

Pc Andy Masterson breathalyzes a motorist on the A140 at Stonham Parva. The breath test proved negative

A Christmas Day drink-driver who agreed to give his friends a lift is the latest motorist caught in Suffolk police’s festive crackdown to lose his licence.

Ezra Hewing for Suffolk MIND feature.

Hospital admissions as a result of self harm are above the national average in Ipswich.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24