Corporal Anna Cross contracted Ebola after she volunteered to help in Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone as a staff nurse. The Army volunteer and nurse says that she is now free of Ebola. While thanking the hospital staff that treated her, Anna says that an experimental drug and strawberries saved her life.
The BBC reports that the British nurse from Cambridge is now happy and healthy after battling the deadly Ebola virus. Cross has been discharged from the hospital after being deemed Ebola-free. At a press conference, Cross thanked the staff at London’s Royal Free Hospital for her care and said she thought they were “the best in the world.”
“They are an incredible bunch of clinicians – incredibly skilled, incredibly dedicated and incredibly professional. Thanks to them I’m alive.”
However, Cross says it wasn’t just the hospital staff she had to thank for her recovery. She also owes her life to an experimental new Ebola drug manufactured in China. The nurse received a drug called MIL 77. The drug is closely related to another Ebola treatment, ZMAPP. The hospital notes that MIL 77 is manufactured in China and is available in limited supply while it is in the experimental phase.
NEWS AU notes that Cross is the first person in the world to receive the experimental MIL 77 drug and that they are “thrilled” with the results.
“The treatment went very well, it caused no side effects that we could elicit.”
Though there were no side effects noted with the use of the drug, Cross did lose 22 pounds during her battle with Ebola. She also spent 14 days in the hospital isolation. She says her battle with Ebola was difficult but one tiny fruit helped her through the rough times. Cross says she consumed a large amount of strawberries while undergoing treatment and that they really helped her pull through the illness.
“Strawberries. I reckon I’ve had ten punnets.”
Though Cross made a full recovery after taking the experimental drug MIL 77, doctors say they can’t say with 100% certainty the drug is responsible for clearing the virus from her system.
“She was given an experimental drug, but it is impossible to say whether or not this directly contributed to her clearing the virus. In order to know whether a drug does work we need experimental trials and thankfully trials of various drugs are underway in west Africa, where the Ebola virus is still doggedly clinging on.”
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Sean Gallup]