Sunday, January 4, 2015 8:53 pm
A British nurse with Ebola was fighting for her life Sunday as two health workers, who also spent time in Sierra Leone, were placed under observation in the US and Germany.
On Saturday, the London hospital where nurse Pauline Cafferkey is being treated, said her health had taken a turn for the worse.
“The condition of Pauline Cafferkey has gradually deteriorated over the past two days and is now critical,” the Royal Free Hospital said.
On Wednesday, doctors had said the 39-year-old Scot, who had been working with the charity Save the Children in Sierra Leone, was sitting up in bed, reading and talking to staff from inside her isolation tent in the hospital.
British Prime Minister David Cameron told BBC television Ebola was “uppermost” in his mind given Cafferkey’s condition and said he was “thinking of her and her family”.
Cafferkey’s doctors said she had agreed to be treated with blood plasma from an Ebola survivor containing virus-fighting antibodies as well as an experimental anti-viral drug.
Cafferkey was volunteering at a British-built treatment centre in Kerry Town, not far from Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown, when she contracted the deadly virus.
She was diagnosed in Glasgow on December 29, a day after flying home, and transferred to the Royal Free, which has the only isolation ward in Britain equipped for Ebola patients.
Expert microbiologist Professor Hugh Pennington said she would need luck to survive the disease, which experts still do not fully understand.
“The plasma is probably her best chance of treatment,” he said.