Via The Guardian: British military nurse successfully treated for Ebola. Excerpt:
A 25-year-old British military healthcare worker who admitted she was too scared to tell her family that she had Ebola has been successfully treated for the disease.
Cpl Anna Cross was diagnosed while working in Sierra Leone this month. The 25-year-old from Cambridge was the first Ebola patient anywhere in the world to be given the experimental drug MIL 77, and has now been discharged from the Royal Free hospital in London.
Cross joined the army reserves in 2013 as a staff nurse and volunteered to travel to the country in February to help care for Ebola patients. She was flown back to the UK by an RAF plane on 12 March.
At a press conference at the Royal Free on Friday, she said she had been treated by an “absolutely incredible bunch of clinicians”.
“I’m a military health worker and in my civilian job I work for the NHS as an IT nurse,” she said. “If it wasn’t for both those institutions I wouldn’t be here today. I was diagnosed in the treatment facility I had worked in by the colleagues I worked with. That gave me confidence, because they were professionals. They put me on a flight less than 24 hours after I was diagnosed. Thanks to the team here, who I would say are the best in the world at treating this disease … I’m alive.”
Cross was admitted to the special isolation unit at the hospital, where two British nurses with Ebola – William Pooley and Pauline Cafferkey – were successfully treated. She appeared at the press conference in full military gear, and seemed to be in positive spirits, making several jokes throughout.
Cross explained that she had been diagnosed by one of the military doctors who “she knew really well”. She said that it “was hard for a few hours and then something in my mind just kicked in as it does in difficult situations and it said ‘I have a job to do’, which is to get myself back well, and I started to really focus on the people around me.”
She said that she couldn’t deal with giving the news to her family, however, and left it to the military to inform them. She said she had cried when she found out she was free of the virus and added that her family were “thrilled” at her recovery.
Cross said she had eaten strawberries to help her through her illness. She added that she had occupied herself in isolation with an iPad the hospital gave her, and that she was grateful for the long career of David Attenborough, whose documentaries she had been watching.
She also described the experience of going from nurse to patient as “weird”. “I had treated a patient that was in the facility, and then the next day I was sat with them. It was nice in a sense because I felt like we were having the same experience and we were both being treated to the same standard. It was odd because I had seen patients who got really sick and had died but he was doing really well, which was encouraging for me,” she said.
It is not known how Cross contracted Ebola. According to the hospital, she decided she would like to be treated with MIL 77 “after careful consideration”.
Dr Michael Jacobs, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital, said the use of the drug “went very well”. “It caused no side-effects that we were able to elicit and we were very happy with its use,” he said.