x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Malaria-infected nurse found safe

A male nurse who triggered a nationwide search across Britain when he vanished after being infected with malaria as part of a medical trial has been found safe and well in the Netherlands.

LONDON // A male nurse who triggered a nationwide search across Britain when he vanished after being infected with malaria as part of a medical trial has been found safe and well in the Netherlands.

More than a week ago, police expressed fears that Matthew Lloyd, 35, could have fewer than 24 hours to live after he failed to keep an appointment to be injected with an anti-malarial drug.

However, on Monday night he reported his whereabouts to Dutch police and spent yesterday being assessed at a hospital in the Netherlands.

Doreen Holland, 64, Mr Lloyd's mother, had made an emotional appeal for her son, who worked at Southampton General Hospital, to come forward, describing his disappearance as "completely out of character".

Last night, however, a police spokesman refused to address reports that Mr Lloyd was part of a sexual assault investigation. Fears were first raised over Mr Lloyd almost two weeks ago when he failed to appear for an appointment at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where he was among seven volunteers taking part in a trial of a new anti-malaria treatment.

All the volunteers had been deliberately infected with malaria on October 1 and six of them appeared, as scheduled, to receive the new drugs a fortnight ago.

Mr Lloyd, however, missed his appointment and, when Southampton police were alerted, they battered down the door of his apartment after learning he had phoned in sick the day before.

As fears for his health grew at the beginning of last week, a nationwide hunt got under way.

Police began to suspect he might have gone abroad when they found his passport missing and that he had drawn £900 (Dh5,200) from his bank account. A CCTV picture of him was found at an ATM close to King's Cross station in London.

dsapsted@thenational.ae