Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Doctors ‘failed to spot’ Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey had fallen ill again

Toni Cafferkey says it was “absolutely diabolical” the way her sister was treated

The family of nurse Pauline Cafferkey have claimed doctors “missed a big opportunity” to spot she had fallen ill with Ebola again when she was told she had a virus when she attended a clinic. Toni Cafferkey said it was “absolutely diabolical” the way her sister, who originally contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone last year, had been treated.

Pauline Cafferkey, 39, was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on Tuesday after feeling unwell. She has since been flown to the Royal Free Hospital in London where she is being treated in an isolation unit. Toni Cafferkey told the Sunday Mail that her sister had gone to a GP out-of-hours clinic at the Victoria Hospital in Glasgow on Monday night but the doctor who assessed her diagnosed a virus and sent her home.

She said: “At that point me and my family believe they missed a big opportunity to give the right diagnosis and we feel she was let down. “Instead of being taken into hospital, she spent the whole of Tuesday very ill.

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Pauline Cafferkey, 39

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How doctors are protecting themselves from deadly Ebola: Two pairs of gloves, thick boots and a domed helmet help health workers fight the virus in 30°C heat

A domed helmet, thick boots and overalls coated in a special plastic. This is the suit designed to keep British medics free from Ebola, as they head for parts of west Africa ravaged by the disease. The first wave of NHS volunteers were deployed by the Government this weekend. They were sent to Sierra Leone to join the global effort to control the epidemic. The group of 30 volunteers is made up of GPs, nurses, psychiatrists and emergency medicine consultants.  After arriving in Sierra Leone’s captital, Freetown, they will complete a week of training before moving to British-built Ebola treatment centres across the virus-ravaged nation. There, they will help diagnose and treat those who have fallen victim to Ebola, which has killed more than 5,000 people – the majority in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. In their fight against the deadly disease, the health workers have been kitted out with special protective suits, made by four British companies. The suits leave no part of a healthcare workers body exposed, providing a crucial barrier designed to keep them safe.  The outfits include white overalls coated with a special plastic, which stops bodily fluids including blood, vomit and diarrhoea – which all carry the virus – from passing through the protective layer.

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NHS staff being trained to spot ebola signs in patients, says CMO – By Nicola Merrifield – Nursing Times

Preparations are underway to ensure all frontline staff in local NHS hospitals across England are trained in how to deal with suspected cases of ebola, should someone “walk in off the street” showing symptoms. Speaking during a parliamentary health committee session on the virus, chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said NHS England was training clinicians and other staff on how to use personal protective equipment, and the procedures around dealing with suspected cases. She added that every accident and emergency department was working to develop an isolation room on site where someone with suspected ebola could be placed before a diagnosis was made.

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NHS staff being trained to spot ebola signs in patients



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Ebola crisis: Vaccine ‘too late’ for outbreak

UK pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline says its Ebola vaccine will “come too late” for the current epidemic. GSK is one of several companies trying to fast-track a vaccine to prevent the spread of Ebola in West Africa. But Dr Ripley Ballou, head of GSK’s Ebola vaccine research, said full data on its safety and efficacy would not be ready until late 2015. The World Health Organization (WHO) says more than 9,000 people have been infected and more than 4,500 have died.



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Ebola outbreak: UK border not prepared for virus

General Secretary of the ISU Lucy Moreton says the border is not prepared to deal with the Ebola outbreak with staff unsure what to do if they suspect someone of being sick.
The threat of the Ebola virus to the UK is increasing, according to Keith Vaz MP. The borders to the UK represent the first line of defence against this deadly disease, he added.
Keith Vaz MP, the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, has today written to the Home Secretary to understand how prepared the UK borders are.
Mr Vaz said: “I am concerned that the officers enforcing our borders suggest they may not be fully prepared to protect the public from the spread of this deadly virus.
“Prevention is not just better than cure, in this case it is essential.
“I have written to the Home Secretary to ensure that we are doing all we can to protect the UK on the frontline.”

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