The first Briton known to have caught the deadly Ebola virus in the current outbreak in West Africa said that he had been “very lucky” as he prepared to be discharged from hospital.
William Pooley, 29, a volunteer nurse, was flown back to the UK for treatment on August 24 after contracting the virus in Sierra Leone. He was being cared for in a special unit at the Royal Free Hospital in north London but the hospital.
At a press conference, he praised the “world-class care” he had received at the hospital and thanked the Government and RAF for getting him home so quickly.
He said he had feared for his life after being diagnosed with the virus and woken by doctors in protective clothing.
“I was worried I was going to die.”
The treatment he received was a world away from that being used to treat those with Ebola in west Africa, Mr Pooley said.
He was flown back to London and treated at the Hampstead hospital with the experimental ZMapp drug, which was used successfully to treat two Americans.
He said: “I was very lucky in several ways, firstly in the standard of care that I received, which is a world apart from what people are receiving in west Africa, despite various organisations’ best efforts.
“I had amazing care, which was one difference.
“The other difference is that my symptoms never progressed to the worst stage of the disease – people I have seen dying horrible deaths. I had some unpleasant symptoms but nothing compared to some of the worst of the disease, especially when people are dying.”
He did not even vomit, he said, but had suffered high temperatures and some stomach problems.
Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people since March.