Fifty-eight people who have had close contacts with Pauline Cafferkey are being monitored for Ebola symptoms. Cafferkey, 39, was flown from Glasgow to an isolated unit at London's Royal Free Hospital, where she was readmitted with Ebola. An experimental vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV has been administered to 25 people who have had contact with her bodily fluids.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Trust have identified Cafferkey's close contacts as her friends, family and community contacts. "All 58 close contacts are being closely monitored. This includes a period of 21 days since their last exposure where they will have their temperature taken twice daily, restrictions placed on travel and, in the case of healthcare workers, they have been asked not to have direct patient contact during this period," said a statement from the health board, as quoted by the BBC. It added: "The 25 who were vaccinated will undergo additional monitoring because the vaccine is still being evaluated."
According to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Trust, the experimental vaccine, which is undergoing a trial in collaboration with the World Health Organization, was administered to 25 of the 40 people confirmed to have had direct contact with Cafferkey. The remaining 15 have either declined the vaccine or were unable to receive it due to existing medical conditions. The experimental vaccine was tested on more than 7,000 people during a recent Ebola outbreak in Guinea.
"It is important to stress once again that there is no risk to the general public. Ebola is not spread through ordinary social contact, such as shaking hands or sitting next to someone. Nor is it spread through airborne particles," the health board's statement added.
On 11 October, her sister Toni Cafferkey said it took the doctors 24 hours before they could diagnose Pauline had fallen ill with an Ebola-related condition. Cafferkey, a nurse, was the first person in the UK to be diagnosed with Ebola after returning from Sierra Leone in Africa. In December 2014, she was admitted to the Royal Free Hospital in London and was discharged in late January.