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Condition of British Nurse With Ebola Improves

FILE - British nurse Pauline Cafferkey, shown in a January interview, has suffered a relapse of Ebola, which she contracted last year in Sierra Leone. She’s being treated in a London hospital, where doctors say her condition is improving.

A Scottish nurse who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone last year, recovered and then suffered a relapse, has improved slightly to a serious but stable condition, hospital officials said Monday.

Pauline Cafferkey, 39, was transferred from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London on October 9, and was last week described by her doctors as critically ill.

On Monday, however, the London hospital issued an update saying: "Pauline Cafferkey's condition has improved to serious but stable." It gave no further details.

Cafferkey, from South Lanarkshire, Scotland, spent several weeks in an isolation unit at the Royal Free at the beginning of the year after contracting Ebola virus last December. She was the first person to have been diagnosed with Ebola on British soil.

She was discharged in January after seemingly making a full recovery but then suffered a relapse earlier this month. Last week, doctors said she was being treated for Ebola in the hospital's high-level isolation unit.

Infectious disease specialists say her case is the first in which someone known to have recovered from Ebola hemorrhagic fever then suffered an apparently life-threatening relapse. It’s taking them into uncharted waters but they hope the experience will yield more knowledge about the deadly virus.