The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola on British soil, 39-year-old Pauline Cafferkey, isn’t doing well: “The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust is sorry to announce that the condition of Pauline Cafferkey has gradually deteriorated over the past two days and is now critical,” said the Saturday announcement from the hospital where Cafferkey is being treated.
The Guardian reports that Cafferkey, a Scottish public-health nurse, had been treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. After returning to Glasgow via Morocco on Sunday night, she started showing symptoms of the disease and was hospitalized in Scotland on Monday morning. On Tuesday, she was moved to London’s Royal Free hospital, where she was placed in isolation. From The Guardian:
Her change in condition comes just days after her doctor said she was sitting up, eating, drinking and communicating with her family. But Dr Michael Jacobs warned at the time that she faced a crucial few days while being treated with a survivor’s plasma and an experimental anti-viral drug that was “not proven to work”.
The Royal Free, where Cafferkey has been treated in isolation since Tuesday, was unable to obtain ZMapp, an experimental drug that has been used on other international Ebola patients, because it is no longer available.
Cafferkey is believed to be the 20th person to be treated for Ebola outside of West Africa. Meanwhile, the virus has now killed nearly 8,000 on the continent.