A French volunteer working for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in Liberia has contracted the Ebola virus, the medical charity said in a statement on Wednesday.
This is the first confirmed case of a French national catching the disease in the current outbreak. The volunteer was put in quarantine on Sept.16 when the first symptoms of the illness appeared.
She will be evacuated to a specialised treatment centre in France.
The disease is spread by direct contact with the bodily fluids of the sick, leaving health care workers especially vulnerable to infection.
Doctors Without Borders has had six local staff fall sick with Ebola, but it was not made clear if they became sick through their work or if they contracted it from the communities where they live.
The organisation has more than 2,000 people working in the region, including 200 international workers.
French implication in Ebola crisis
French development secretary Annick Girardin will be “the first” European minister to visit the west African region worst hit by the deadly Ebola virus when she touches down in Guinea on Saturday.
During her visit to the Guinean capital Conakry, the junior minister is scheduled to visit Ebola units and meet with healthcare workers to discuss France's contribution in the battle to halt the epidemic which has so far claimed almost 2,400 lives in the three nations worst hit by the fast-spreading virus: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Girardin's visit follows a call from the World Health Organization (WHO), urging the international community to respond more quickly to stop the epidemic from spiraling out of control.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AP)
Date created : 2014-09-17