A BRITISH nurse has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus, after
returning from Sierra Leone, where she had been working in a
treatment centre run by Save the Children.
Pauline Cafferkey - an NHS employee who volunteered to fight
Ebola - flew home to Glasgow, via London Heathrow, on Sunday night,
and was admitted to hospital in Glasgow on Monday morning. She was
moved overnight to the Royal Free Hospital, in London, which
successfully treated the British nurse William Pooley, who also
contracted the virus in Sierra Leone.
She had been working in the treatment centre in Kerry Town since
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who visited Sierra Leone just
before Christmas, called for prayers for her. He tweeted: "The
Ebola of the Glasgow health worker shows the courage of those
serving in S Leone, we owe them thanks and respect, let us pray for
The number infected with the virus passed 20,000 over Christmas,
and infections were still increasing in parts of Sierra Leone, the
World Health Organisation (WHO) reported. Infections are decreasing
in neighbouring Liberia, and fluctuating in Guinea, where the first
case of this latest outbreak was reported in a remote village a
WHO figures show that, in total, there have been 24 reported
cases and 15 reported deaths per 100,000 people in Guinea, 199
cases and 85 deaths per 100,000 people in Liberia, and 157 cases
and 45 deaths per 100,000 people in Sierra Leone.
More than 7000 are thought to have died in this latest outbreak
of the virus so far.
One of Sierra Leone's most senior physicians, Dr Victor
Willoughby, died before Christmas, the 11th of the country's 120
doctors to die from the virus. He died just hours after an
experimental drug was flown in from Canada to treat him, but before
it could be administered.
A small charity run from the dining room of a churchgoer in
Hampshire is trying to help children orphaned by the virus, either
because their parents have died, or because they aren't allowed to
return, as their community is scared of contagion.
Philip Dean, from St Barnabas's Swanmore, set up St George's
Foundation ten years ago to care for children left orphaned or
homeless after the civil war in Sierra Leone. But since the arrival
of the virus, the charity has been focusing on taking in children
orphaned or alone because of the virus, all of whom arrive with
nothing as all their possessions have been burnt as part of
"In the first month, we recorded over 500 affected children, and
have taken 42 into our direct care. Unfortunately, we don't receive
any funding for this from any government or national organisation,"
Mr Dean said.
The UK Government has said that the charity is too small to be
considered for funding; so Mr Dean is appealing to churchgoers to
support the foundation.
It costs an average of £200 to help each child recuperate,
receive counselling, and track down relatives who are willing to
help. Each child receives care for up to six weeks.
One of those helped was Julius, 13, who was visiting his aunt in
Freetown when she contracted the virus and died. The house was
quarantined for 21 days. Julius became sick, too, and was taken to
a treatment centre. When he went home, the community refused to
believe he was not contagious, and he was living on the streets of
Freetown when he was discovered.