Pauline Cafferkey
Pauline Cafferkey's has been disharged from hospital after being declared free of the infection.handout

A UK nurse, who was infected with Ebola while working in Sierra Leone, has said she is "happy to be alive" after making a full recovery.

Pauline Cafferkey from Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire was critically ill after contracting the deadly virus while volunteering with Save The Children at the Ebola Treatment Centre in Kerry Town. She spent over three weeks in a specialist isolation unit at the Royal Free hospital.

Ms Cafferkey was discharged from hospital on Saturday. She said: "I am just happy to be alive. I still don't feel 100%, I feel quite weak, but I'm looking forward to going home.

"I want to say a big thank you to the staff who treated me - they were amazing. They were always very reassuring and I knew I was in the best hands. They saved my life."

She admitted that there were times in her ordeal when she felt like giving up and was "definitely frightened" having witnessed the impact of the virus first hand in Sierra Leone.

"Obviously at the back of my mind I had seen what could happen and what could potentially happen to me. There was a point, which I remember clearly. I do remember saying: 'That's it, I've had enough'."

The 39-year-old nurse was under the care of the infectious diseases team, led by Dr Michael Jacobs. Commenting on her recovery he said: "We are delighted that Pauline has recovered and is now well enough to go home. I am very proud of the staff who have been caring for her. It is because of the skill and hard work of the entire team that she is now able to go home."

He added that Ms Cafferkey had now completely recovered and was "not infectious in any way."

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the nurse for her dedication to the care of others and the Royal Free for the life-saving treatment they offered.

"I am delighted that Pauline Cafferkey has been discharged from hospital and can now return home. Her selflessness and courage are remarkable and she represents the very best of NHS values. I would like to thank all the staff at the Royal Free who have worked tirelessly to provide her with world class care and treatment."

Nurses and patients at the Blantyre Health Centre, in South Lanarkshire, where Ms Cafferkey works as a public health nurse, said they were "overjoyed" to hear the news of her recovery.

Save the Children is investigating how Ms Cafferkey contracted the disease.