FREETOWN: The UN’s World Health Organization on Sunday announced a first Ebola infection among the health experts it has dispatched to battle the raging epidemic in West Africa that has killed at least 1,427 people with few signs of abating.
Also on Sunday, the first Briton to be infected with Ebola was being flown out of Sierra Leone on Sunday, headed to an isolation ward in a London hospital.
The WHO gave no details about the age, sex or nationality of its infected health worker but said the person had been deployed to Sierra Leone.
A WHO spokesman told AFP the person was an epidemiologist.
The patient was now “receiving the best care possible” but the “option of medical evacuation” was still being considered, the WHO statement said.
The infected Briton in Sierra Leone, a health ministry spokesman said, Yahya Tunis, was a volunteer nurse and a “valuable member” of a crew who had worked with Ebola victims.
He said the Briton, who had been living in Sierra Leone, had been working in Kenema in the country’s hard-hit east, in an area now under quarantine.
Sierra Leone, where 392 Ebola deaths have been recorded, is one of four West African states struggling to control the spread of the aggressively contagious virus, which can spread through bodily fluids including saliva and blood.
Liberia has been particularly hard hit since the outbreak began in March, with 624 deaths, compared with 406 for Guinea and five for Nigeria, according to a WHO count on Friday.