The first person to be diagnosed in the United Kingdom with Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has been transferred from a Glasgow hospital to a London hospital for treatment, according to Health Protection Scotland today.
The patient, who has been identified as Pauline Cafferkey, is a nurse who returned from serving in Sierra Leone on Sunday and developed symptoms of Ebola.
According to a Reuters report, Cafferkey will be treated with antibody-rich plasma from a Ebola survivor. We have decided to treat her with two things, the first of which is convalescent plasma, that means a product taken from the blood of another patient who has recovered from Ebola,” said Dr Michael Jacobs of London’s Royal Free hospital.
In addition, Jacobs says his patient will be receiving an experimental antiviral drug. The name of the drug was not disclosed.
Public Health England announced they are contacting plane passengers from the flight Cafferkey was on. So far 85 people have been contacted by health authorities.
Cafferkey had left Sierra Leone on 28 December and had been a passenger on flight AT596 from Freetown to Casablanca, flight AT0800 from Casablanca to London, and transferred at Heathrow to flight BA1478 for onward travel to Glasgow.
Although the risk of infection to other passengers on the flights is considered extremely low, PHE is contacting 100 passengers, and the crew on the flight from Casablanca to Heathrow. An additional 32 international passengers are being contacted by international public health authorities. Health Protection Scotland is carrying out a similar exercise for the 71 passengers on the Heathrow to Glasgow flight, speaking with 56 to date.
People contacted by Public Health England will be made aware that a person on their flight was confirmed with Ebola after they returned to the UK, although the person would have been in the very early stages of disease and extremely unlikely to be infectious.