Sat | Oct 21, 2017

UN staffers under Ebola observation

Published:Sunday | October 12, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Health workers in protective gear carry the body of a woman suspected to have died from the Ebola virus, from a house on the outskirt of Monrovia, Liberia.-AP

MONROVIA (AP):Liberia's United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission has placed 41 staff members, including 20 military personnel, under "close medical observation" after an international member of its medical team was diagnosed with Ebola last week - the second mission member to test positive for the deadly disease.

"This measure is precautionary and meant to ensure no possible further transmission of the disease," the mission said in a statement last Friday. "None of the personnel who are contacts have shown any symptoms but will be observed for the full 21-day possible incubation period."

maximum incubation

The World Health Organization says 21 days is the maximum incubation period for Ebola, which is spread via the bodily fluids of infected people. The 41 staffers were identified as having possibly come into contact with the member of the medical team, whose name and nationality have not been disclosed.

The patient tested positive last Monday and arrived in Germany last Thursday for treatment - the third Ebola patient to be flown there.

The first UN staffer in Liberia to come down with Ebola died on September 26.

The mission is implementing additional measures to avoid more cases, including daily temperature checks and screening at a military facility where 209 people work.

Liberia has recorded 2,316 confirmed, suspected and probable Ebola deaths - far more than any other country touched by the current outbreak, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures released last Friday.

The outbreak has now killed more than 4,000 people in total, the WHO said.

More than 400 health care workers have contracted Ebola, and 233 of those have died, according to the WHO. Liberia and Sierra Leone have both recorded 95 health worker deaths.