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Nurse who contracted Ebola given experimental drug

The nurse who contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone has been given an experimental drug to help him fight the virus. 

William Pooley, a volunteer nurse from Eyke, Suffolk, returned to the UK on Sunday, and is being treated in a special isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London. 

Staff at the Royal Free said that Pooley had been given the experimental drug ZMapp on Monday, and further doses will be given to him “in due course”. 

Dr Michael Jacobs consultant and clinical lead in infectious diseases at the Royal Free Hospital, told the BBC: “We are giving him the very best care possible. However, the next few days will be crucial.” 

ZMapp has been administered to two American aid workers who have now recovered from Ebola. 

However, two other people who were reported to have taken the medication recently have died. 

ZMapp has only previously been tested on animals. Experts are unsure whether the drug improves the chance of recovery. 

William Pooley is the first Brit to have been infected by Ebola during the outbreak. 

Early symptoms of Ebola include fever, headaches, joint and muscle pain and lack of appetite. 

Later symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, a rash and internal and external bleeding - often from the eyes, nose or mouth. 

Ebola does not currently have a cure. The only treatment is to keep the patient hydrated.