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Novichok poisoning victim Charlie Rowley released from hospital

6:58 pm, 20th July 2018

“I am pleased to confirm that earlier today, Charlie Rowley was discharged from hospital,” Lorna Wilkinson, Director of Nursing, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said in a statement.

“Charlie has been through an appalling experience most of us could never imagine.

“Today is a very welcome milestone in his recovery and all of us here at Salisbury Hospital wish him well as he continues to get better.

“The progress he has made is a testament to the remarkable clinical team who have worked tirelessly, supported by brilliant behind the scenes staff,” Ms Wilkinson continued.

Mr Rowley, 45, and his partner Dawn Sturgess, 44, collapsed on 30 June after coming into contact with a small bottle containing novichok – a nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The couple were contaminated in the town of Amesbury in southwestern England – near the city of Salisbury where Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with novichok in March.

Mr Rowley and the Skripals survived, but Ms Sturgess died on 8 July and the mother-of-three’s death is being treated as murder.

“We’re pleased that Mr Rowley is well enough to leave hospital. For the avoidance of doubt, Mr Rowley’s discharge creates no risk to anyone in the community,” Paul Cosford, Director of Health Protection and Medical Director at Public Health England said.

“Our advice to the public remains unchanged. Do not pick up any items such as syringes, needles, cosmetics or similar objects made of materials such as metal, plastic or glass. If you didn’t drop it, then don’t pick it up”.

Last Friday, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that they had found a small bottle that they believed was the source of the contamination.

Mr Rowley told relatives that he remembers giving Dawn what appeared to be a small perfume bottle before the pair were exposed to the nerve agent.

Detectives are looking at the possibility that Ms Sturgess tested the spray on her face and hands, believing it to be perfume.

Ms Wilkinson added: “I would also like to reassure everyone that, despite many people seeking advice following these incidents, there have only ever been a total of five people who have been exposed to this nerve agent and admitted to hospital for treatment.

“In the past four and a half months, our hospital has treated all five victims while the world looked on and yet we have never closed our doors to the public.

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