UK nurse with Ebola improving

British nurse Pauline Cafferkey is being treated in an isolation unit at London's Royal Free Hospital.

Story highlights

  • A UK nurse infected with Ebola has improved and is no longer critically ill, hospital says
  • Pauline Cafferkey, 39, is the first person to have been diagnosed with Ebola on UK soil
  • She contracted the virus after working in Sierra Leone and became ill after returning to Britain

London (CNN)The condition of a UK nurse infected with Ebola has improved, and she is no longer critically ill, the London hospital where she is being treated said Monday.

On December 29, Pauline Cafferkey, 39, of Glasgow, Scotland, became the first person to be diagnosed with the virus on UK soil shortly after returning from Sierra Leone.
    On January 3, London's Royal Free Hospital said Cafferkey's condition had deteriorated to critical.
    But in a statement Monday, the hospital updated her condition.
    "The Royal Free Hospital is pleased to announce that Pauline Cafferkey is showing signs of improvement and is no longer critically ill," it said. "She remains in isolation as she receives specialist care for the Ebola virus."
    On December 31, the hospital said Cafferkey had decided to have a blood plasma treatment -- using plasma from Ebola survivors -- and to take an experimental antiviral drug.
    The Royal Free is equipped with a high-level isolation unit, where access is restricted to specially trained medical staff. A specially designed tent with controlled ventilation covers the patient's bed.
    Cafferkey had been working at Save the Children's Kerry Town Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone for six weeks before she returned to Glasgow via Casablanca and London Heathrow airports.
    Last week, Save the Children said it was "doing everything possible" to establish how Cafferkey contracted Ebola and had been conducting a review since she was confirmed as having the virus.