Wiltshire police officer in hospital after possible Novichok exposure
Jul 08 2018
A Police Officer attended Great Western Hospital this evening for medical advice in connection with the ongoing incident in Amesbury.
Police say specialists have determined that a British couple in their 40s who visited the city of Salisbury were poisoned by the same lethal toxin - developed by the Soviet Union - that nearly killed Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the same English city in March.
A local policeman, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, fell seriously ill in that incident but later recovered, along with the Skripals.
Hospital officials reiterated British health authorities' stance that "the risk to the wider public remains low". This is Neil Basu of the British Metropolitan Police.
The Kremlin was responding to comments made by British Security Minister Ben Wallace, who said earlier Thursday that he's still waiting to hear from the Russian government about the March attack on Skripal. British police have blocked off multiple locations that Sturgess and Rowley may have visited, to prevent additional people from becoming victims.
Police insisted nobody else was affected by the nerve agent.
Police officer being tested at hospital for possible contact with nerve agent in the United Kingdom; Kitty Logan reports.
Police initially believed that Sturgess and Rowley were having an adverse reaction to illicit drugs, but on Monday, the couple continued to display worrying symptoms, prompting the hospital to send samples away for rushed laboratory testing.
It's the same kind of toxin used in the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia four months ago.
CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata is at the hospital in Salisbury, England, where the pair are being treated.
Sam Hobson, a friend of the couple, said he had visited Salisbury with them the day before they fell ill.
In a tweet, Wiltshire Police said the police constable has now been assessed and given the all clear.
"The investigation team, as it has done in March, continues to work closely with experts from Public Health England, who have emphasised that, based on the number of casualties affected, it is not believed that there is a significant health risk to the wider public".
Officials said the highest concentration of Novichok was found on the couple's hands, leading them to suspect they encountered the poison from handling some contaminated item.
The Russians have denied these claims, and have accused the United Kingdom of staging the entire thing just to make Russia look bad.
More details of the pairs movements before they were found unconscious in a property in Muggleton Road in Amesbury on the 30th of June have been released.
Nerve agents, including Novichok, can be inhaled as a fine powder, absorbed through the skin or ingested.