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Brave Ebola Nurse Receives MBE


British nurse, William Pooley who contracted Ebola last year during his work in Sierra Leone, was one of at least ten nurses to receive an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours list.

The nurse, from Suffolk, recovered fully and returned to Sierra Leone last October and is now back in the UK, around 7% of all the honours' recipients were from the health sector, including Oliver Johnson, programme director for the King's Sierra Leone Partnership who received an OBE and Ciaran Devane, the former chief executive of cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support, received a knighthood.

William Pooley, travelled to eastern Sierra Leone in the summer of 2014 and in August and just six weeks after his arrival, became the first Briton to be evacuated from West Africa with the virus. Mr Pooley had to be airlifted back to the UK for treatment for the virus. He was treated in a special isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London where he was given the experimental drug ZMapp.

Ebola is a severe and life threatening viral disease caused by the Ebola virus, the onset of illness is sudden, with fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, sore throat and intense weakness. This is then followed by diarrhea, vomiting, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and stomach pain. Some patients may develop a rash, red eyes, hiccups, internal and external bleeding.

More than 11,160 people are reported to have died in the worst ever Ebola outbreak, which caused deaths in six countries; Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the US and Mali.The outbreak in Liberia, which had the highest number of deaths out of all the countries affected, was declared over by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 9 May, 2015. In Sierra Leone, where Mr Pooley was working, there were only 15 new cases declared in the week ending 7 June, according to the WHO, at its peak in December 2014, Sierra Leone was reporting more than 500 new cases a week.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "William Pooley demonstrated incredible bravery and commitment in
volunteering to provide nursing care in Sierra Leone for those with Ebola

"The dedication of frontline health care workers like William Pooley is essential for containing the spread of this virus. The risks they face are considerable but they are doing the best they can for their patients."