World Health Organisation announces first staff Ebola infection

MSF medical workers put on protective clothing at an MSF Ebola treatment facility in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, on Aug 15, 2014. The World Health Organisation on Sunday announced the first Ebola infection among its experts, describing the infected
MSF medical workers put on protective clothing at an MSF Ebola treatment facility in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, on Aug 15, 2014. The World Health Organisation on Sunday announced the first Ebola infection among its experts, describing the infected person as an epidemiologist who had been deployed to Sierra Leone. -- PHOTO: AFP

GENEVA (AFP) - The World Health Organisation on Sunday announced the first Ebola infection among its experts, describing the infected person as an epidemiologist who had been deployed to Sierra Leone.

The WHO did not provide information about the sex, age or nationality of the person but said the patient was "receiving the best care possible".

The UN organisation said it was considering "the option of medical evacuation to another care facility if necessary".

Ebola has spread through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, while Nigeria has also been affected, killing a total of 1,427 people since March. The WHO has sent 400 people to help battle the epidemic.

More than 225 health workers have contracted the contagious tropical disease while treating people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and 130 of them have died, the WHO said.

Meanwhile, a British healthcare worker who contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone is being flown to London for treatment, the Department of Health said on Sunday.

Officials said the patient was currently on a military plane en route back to Britain and, while not seriously ill, would be treated at an isolation unit at a London hospital.

"The Department of Health, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England can confirm that, following clinical advice, a decision has been made to repatriate a British national healthcare worker residing in Sierra Leone, who has been diagnosed with Ebola virus disease," a statement issued by the Department of Health said.

England's deputy chief medical officer Professor John Watson insisted the risk of the virus being spread in Britain was "very low".

The Briton is the first person from the country to have contracted the virus in the current outbreak.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported that the infected person is a male medic who was working for a charity in Sierra Leone.

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