Nurse Pauline Cafferkey, who contracted Ebola while doing aid work in Sierra Leone, has given birth to twins. The 43-year-old from South Lanarkshire delivered two boys into the world on Tuesday at a maternity unit in Greater Glasgow.
The devastating Ebola epidemic was in full swing during her stint, though Cafferkey did not learn that her own life was at risk until she fell ill shortly after touching back down in the UK.
She was then diagnosed with Ebola and was moved for intensive treatment to London’s Royal Free Hospital, which has an isolation unit tended by trained medical staff and a tent with controlled ventilation set up over the patient’s bed.
At one point during that initial stay, the hospital said Cafferkey’s condition had “gradually deteriorated” and that she was in a critical condition. Nonetheless, she rallied and weeks later was allowed to go home.
Nearly 1,400 people have died in the central African country since the fresh Ebola epidemic broke out in August 2018, with the disease now spreading to Uganda.
A five-year-old boy infected with the virus died on Tuesday and his 50-year-old grandmother died on Wednesday, the Ugandan health ministry has said, with at least six other cases of the reported over recent days.
The World Health Organization is expected to declare an international emergency over the epidemic in the coming days
Dr Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Welcome Trust, said the epidemic was the worst since that of 2013-16 and has showed “no sign of stopping”.