Ebola Reaches UK As First British Patient Treated In London

The first British person to contract the Ebola virus is back in England and being treated in a special containment unit in London.
Posted at 9:38 AM, Aug 25, 2014

The first British person to contract Ebola is now receiving treatment in a special containment unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London. 

The 29-year-old nurse, who has been identified as William Pooley, arrived in London Sunday night, after being flown by the Royal Air Force from Freetown, Sierra Leone. (Video via ITV)

The Guardian reports Pooley lived in the country and had been working at a clinic in the country's east, when he contracted the virus.

According to a friend of Pooley's in Sierra Leone, interviewed by The Telegraph, "When the Ebola outbreak occurred, Will begged me to allow him to go and work at the hospital. He told me he had a calling to go there. I advised him not to go. But he pleaded with me. He is very brave.” 

As ever with Ebola, the virus' arrival in the UK has caused fear, and although health officials have urged calm...

Sky News: "Authorities are keen to stress there's no danger to other patients being treated here or to those who live nearby."

PROFESSOR JOHN WATSON, DEPUTY CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER FOR ENGLAND: "The risk of Ebola virus infection to the population of this country remains very low..."

Some elements of the British press aren't exactly helping, as this front page from the Daily Mirror shows, running the headline "Deadly Ebola In Britain."

​It will inevitably bring some more attention to the virus — which has recently been overshadowed in the press by other crises — with Doctors Without Borders calling the response to the outbreak in West Africa, "dangerously inadequate."  

From here, Pooley will be treated for the virus, despite the fact — as many outlets have pointed out, repeatedly — there is no known cure for the virus. 

There is, however an experimental treatment which helped the two American Ebola patients, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol recover. Those two were discharged last week. (Video via CBS)

LAURA TRANT, BBC CORRESPONDENT: "They got infected with Ebola and they were given an experimental drug called Zed-Mapp or Zmapp, as the Americans call it,  and they recovered. So the Department of Health is trying to get its hands on some of that drug that William Pooley can use if he needs to."

It's unclear if that will be a possibility, however, as the drug's manufacturer, Mapp Pharmaceuticals still says on its website supplies of the treatment have been exhausted. That message is dated nearly two weeks ago.

Nevertheless, Pooley's outlook for recovery is reportedly good. The World Health Organization reports more than 1,400 people have died from the disease in this outbreak out of more than 2,600 who contracted the virus.

This video includes images from Getty Images.