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Condition of UK Ebola patient has deteriorated to "critical"

A second person is now being tested for Ebola as a “precautionary measure” in Swindon.

Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated 7.05pm

PAULINE CAFFERKEY, THE UK nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola, is said to be in “critical” condition.

She is currently receiving treatment in the Royal Free hospital in London, and in a statement on its website the hospital said today that her condition has deteriorated.

The statement reads:

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust is sorry to announce that the condition of Pauline Cafferkey has gradually deteriorated over the past two days and is now critical.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said his thoughts and prayers are with Cafferkey:

Tweet by @David Cameron Source: David Cameron/Twitter

Second patient being tested

A patient at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon is being tested for Ebola as a “precautionary measure”, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirmed this evening.

It said the patient has a history of travel to West Africa.

The Trust is awaiting the results of the sample, which is being screened for a variety of infectious diseases prevalent in the affected countries, one of which is Ebola.

The Trust said that the risk to people, other patients or visitors to the hospital is “very low”.

The patient is being kept in isolation as a precaution.

Pauline Cafferkey

On Wednesday, Cafferkey was “sitting up in bed, talking and reading”, and had agreed to take an experimental anti-viral drug.

Doctors said at the time that the following days would be “crucial”.

Pauline Cafferkey was a volunteer nurse in Sierra Leone with the charity Save the Children. When she arrived home to Glasgow on 28 December, she began displaying Ebola symptoms and was admitted to hospital.

She was then found to have contracted the deadly disease, and brought to London for treatment. She is being treated at the high level isolation unit at the Royal Free.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said that authorities in Ireland are in daily contact with their counterparts in Britain as they monitor the ongoing situation.

Ebola scare

Meanwhile, Somalia has moved to reassure people that there was no outbreak of Ebola in the country. AFP reports that Health Minister Ali Mohamed Mohamud told reporters:

As soon as we heard the rumours of a case of Ebola virus in Somalia, we acted quickly and decisively to isolate the alleged victim, a Somali citizen named Abdulkadir Jinow Barow, and those who had been in contact with him.

Mohamud also hit out at ”irresponsible reporting without the checking of facts or sources by some elements of the media, combined with the wildfire spreading of rumours on social media”, saying the rumours “could have caused widespread panic” in the Horn of Africa nation.

“The man did not have the Ebola virus,” the minister told reporters, speaking alongside the purported Ebola victim — who also insisted he was “perfectly healthy”.

He has now been given the all clear and we can state categorically that there has been no outbreak of Ebola in Somalia.

The man who was falsely reported to have been infected with Ebola in Guinea, where he ran a business, said he was “very confused and upset” by the rumours.

- Additional reporting AFP

Read: Scottish nurse with Ebola agrees to try experimental drug>

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