Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°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.

shares
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

shares

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

The White Horse pub in Sudbury is selling Zebra, Camel and Bison at its special steak night

While squirrel has been popping up on the menu of adventurous restaurants across Suffolk in recent months, it appears that the people of Sudbury have even more exotic tastes.

The MSC Oscar en route in the North Sea to its next port of call.

Hundreds of ship-spotters are expected to line the shore as the Port of Felixstowe welcomes the world’s largest container ship on Monday – just two months after the last holder of the title sailed into the harbour.

Tawny owl

Two men who were suspected by police of being responsible for the illegal trapping and killing of a tawny owl in west Suffolk will not be charged.

Temporary chief constable Gareth Wilson and police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore

Suffolk Constabulary is pledging to support a national campaign aimed at promoting trust, integration and cohesion within communities.

Mariusz Kuliga, 21, wanted by the Met as part of Operation Sunfire 4

A man wanted by Polish authorities in connection with five armed robberies could be in Essex.

Staff at work in the control room at Sizewell A - it has now been closed down after 50 years of operation.

For the first time in half a century, the main control room at a Suffolk nuclear power station which has generated enough electricity to boil a trillion kettles has fallen silent.

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

A 74-year-old Suffolk man has been cleared of seven child sex offences by a jury which failed to reach verdicts on seven other charges.

The scene of a one car collision with a tree on Ashbocking Road near Henley.

Police have found a man who had gone missing after a road traffic collision between a car and a tree in Ashbocking Road, Henley on Thursday night.

Engineers checking the level crossing after carrying out repairs after it was struck by a skip lorry on a previous occasion. Photo: Bill Smith

Traffic delays on the A1065 in Brandon have been caused by a signal failure.

Leiston

A public vote on a blueprint aiming to shape the future of a Suffolk town may not take place until the autumn.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages