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British Man Exposed To Nerve Agent No Longer In Critical Condition

Dawn Sturgess (left) and Charles Rowley fell ill on June 30.

A British man poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent is no longer in a critical condition, the hospital treating him said.

The July 11 announcement by the Salisbury District Hospital about Charlie Rowley came two days after his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, died from exposure to Novichok.

The two fell ill on June 30 and authorities later determined they had been exposed to Novichok, a deadly nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union and used in poisoning former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in March.

"Charlie Rowley has made further progress overnight. He is no longer in a critical condition," Lorna Wilkinson, director of nursing at Salisbury District Hospital, said in a July 11 statement. "His condition is now serious, but stable."

British police said on July 11 that they had spoken to Rowley as detectives sought to discover how he and his partner were exposed to Novichok.

Police suspect Rowley and Sturgess were accidently exposed to some residual Novichok left over from the March incident.

The Skripals have recovered, but the death of Sturgess prompted British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson on July 9 to accuse Russia of committing an attack on British soil.

The Kremlin rejected the allegations, calling them absurd.

The poisoning of the Skripals prompted a major diplomatic crisis, with London, and many of its allies, expelling diplomats, and Moscow responding in kind.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP