Discharged British Ebola nurse back in hospital

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A Scottish nurse who had previously contracted Ebola during a trip to Sierra Leone has been readmitted to a London hospital.

LONDON, ENGLAND (OCTOBER 9, 2015) (ITN) – A Scottish nurse who contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone last year but had seemingly made a full recovery was back in hospital in a serious condition on Friday after suffering a late complication from the disease.

Pauline Cafferkey, 39, was transferred from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London early on Friday morning, the Royal Free said in a statement.

Cafferkey, from South Lanarkshire, Scotland, spent several weeks in an isolation unit at the Royal Free at the beginning of the year after contracting the virus in December 2014.

Doctors said Cafferkey was being treated for an “unusual late complication” of the infection and was in “serious condition”.

Microbiologist Professor Hugh Pennington said the risk to the public was low.

“It’s very simple to look for the Ebola genes by a very straight forward quick test and they obviously found some of these genes in her probably in her blood sample. And so, bingo we go into full precautionary mode. Not that she is infectious to anybody else in ordinary terms in ordinary social contact,” he said.

People who have come into close contact with the nurse are being monitored by health authorities as a precautionary measure.

Cafferkey, from South Lanarkshire, Scotland, spent several weeks in an isolation unit at the Royal Free at the beginning of the year after contracting the virus in December 2014.

The Ebola virus can only be transmitted by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person while they are symptomatic.

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