A doctor has admitted she misled other medics about the health of a colleague returning to the UK from West Africa with Ebola in 2014. Dr Hannah Ryan told a disciplinary hearing she had been in a state of “disbelief, fear and panic” after finding out nurse Pauline Cafferkey had had a high temperature, a warning sign. Instead of alerting public health officials at Heathrow Airport, both continued on their journey home. Dr Ryan denies misconduct. Dr Ryan and Ms Cafferkey had been working in Sierra Leone with other volunteers to help treat Ebola victims. And on 28 December they had landed at Heathrow, “keen” to be home for the Christmas holiday period, the tribunal heard. They queued to get clearance from Public Health England medics to be allowed to leave. Trying to help PHE staff with the process, they agreed to take and record their own temperatures. Dr Ryan had then taken Ms Cafferkey’s temperature and got a reading of 38.2C – higher than normal. But a lower temperature, 37.2C, was actually recorded, and Ms Cafferkey was then allowed to catch her connecting flight to Glasgow to go home. She fell seriously ill the next day and tested positive for Ebola. Dr Ryan has admitted misleading others and that she “acquiesced” in the wrong temperature being given, but denies misconduct by her actions at the airport and during a subsequent investigation by Public Health England.
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