Ebola in the UK: Army Reservist Anna Cross cured of deadly virus

Corporal Cross contracted Ebola just a month after she went to Sierra Leone

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The Independent Online

An Army Reservist who has been successfully treated for Ebola has thanked medical staff for saving her life.

Corporal Anna Cross, 25, told reporters gathered at the London's Royal Free Hospital where she was discharged from today that she had been treated by an “absolutely incredible bunch of clinicians”.

Cpl Cross said she cried when medics told her she had been cured of Ebola.

“Thanks to them I'm alive,” she said, before she praised the NHS, which she works for, as well as the Army.

“If it wasn't for both of those institutions I wouldn't be here today,” she said.

During her treatment, Corporal Cross became the first person in the world to be given the experimental drug MIL 77, after choosing to do so following “careful consideration”, the hospital said.

Corporal cross joined the Army Reserves in 2013 as a staff nurse, and arrived in Sierra Leon last month where she volunteered to help care for Ebola patients.

She was evacuated from the west African country on 12 March, after becoming the third Briton to test positive for the virus.

She added that eating strawberries helped her cope during her treatment, and said it will still take a “long time” before she is fully fit.

Following her ordeal, Corporal Cross said she will not be able to return to Sierra Leon, but would “love” to continue volunteering with the military.

Corporal Cross said she had no idea how she contracted the virus, while an investigation at the treatment centre was inconclusive.

She told the press conference that one day she was treating patients there, and the next she was being cared for there herself.

Since an outbreak began a year ago, more than 9,800 people have died of Ebola, mainly in west Africa. More than 100 health-care workers have been exposed to the virus while caring for Ebola patients according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

However, no British nationals have yet died of the disease. British nurses Pauline Cafferkey and Will Pooley, and now Corporal Cross all survived the highly-contagious disease after contracting it while treating patients in Sierra Leone.

Additional reporting by PA