Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Brit exposed to deadly nerve agent regains consciousness

Sturgess, 44, and partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were poisoned June 30 by the same substance that sickened former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter in March.

The father and daughter have recovered since their March 4 poisoning.

The surviving victim of the Amesbury novichok poisoning has regained consciousness and experienced a "small but significant improvement to his condition", a spokeswoman for Salisbury district hospital said.

England's Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies warned Salisbury and Amesbury residents on Tuesday that they should not "pick up any foreign object which could contain liquid or gel, in the interests of their own safety".

"I would need a forensic link to be definitive, but this is a very rare substance banned by the worldwide community and for there to be two separate distinct incidents in one, small English county is implausible to say the least".

But he said he found it highly unlikely there was not a link to the attack, which the United Kingdom blames on Russian Federation.

The wide investigation is now a homicide inquiry.

But, he said, Novichok is a rare substance banned by the worldwide community and for there to be two separate and distinct incidents in one small English county is "implausible to say the least".

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"I would love to be able to stand here and say how we have identified and caught those responsible and how we are absolutely certain there are no traces of nerve agent left anywhere in the county".

"But the brutal reality is that I can not offer you any reassurance or guarantee at this time".

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of United Kingdom counter-terrorism policing, which is leading the investigation, said police are looking for a container contaminated with Novichok which the pair are believed to have handled.

Police suspect the couple were exposed through a contaminated item left over from the first attack, which Britain blames on Russian Federation.

"It was subsequently taken to DSTL and following further scientific advice, the investigation team also carried out forensic enquiries on the bus as they look to establish the point at which Dawn and Charlie were contaminated with the nerve agent".

Six locations visited by the couple have been cordoned off, including Mr Rowley's home on Muggleton Road in Amesbury, a Boots shop and a baptist church.

The company shared photographs of their "Novichok" vodka to their Facebook page on July 7, one week after Ms Sturgess and her partner were rushed to hospital after being posioned.

A tweet by police said, "the public should not be alarmed by this".

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