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Ebola-infected nurse transferred to London hospital

A NURSE who returned to the UK from Sierra Leone and tested positive for Ebola has been transferred to a hospital in London.

Health worker Pauline Cafferkey reportedly was taken to the Royal Free Hospital after being flown down from Glasgow to Heathrow in a RAF plane.

Authorities say the threat of her contaminating others before her diagnosis is low to negligible.

The nurse was part of a 50-person group of NHS healthcare workers who volunteered to help containment efforts in Sierra Leone, which along with Liberia and Guinea, has experienced the majority of Ebola cases in West Africa where more than 7,800 people are estimated to have died from the virus.

Cafferkey and her group returned to the UK over the weekend. She had been working with organisation Save the Children while in Sierra Leone.

Government officials are currently chairing emergency meetings over safety measures to prevent Ebola becoming a greater risk in Britain as people fly in from areas of high rates of infection.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We are also reviewing our procedures and protocols for all the other NHS workers who are working at the moment in Sierra Leone”.

The infected nurse will be kept in a high-level isolation unit at the north London hospital – the same unit in which NHS nurse William Pooley was treated.

Earlier this year Pooley fully recovered from the virus and has since returned to West Africa to continue helping local authorities treat people with Ebola.

The World Health Organisation estimates over 20,000 people have been infected with the disease in West Africa.

Ebola, which broke out last year, is spread by contact with bodily fluids. Its early symptoms include sudden fever, muscle pain, fatigue, headache and sore throat. And it can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, a rash and internal and external bleeding – visible in the gums, eyes, nose and faeces.

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