WHO worker with ebola receiving treatment

The World Health Organization said on Sunday that a health worker who contracted Ebola while deployed to Sierra Leone to combat the disease is receiving the best treatment available.

The WHO said the patient may be evacuated to another health facility if necessary.

The case is the first involving a person working with the WHO to fight the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, although a total of 225 health workers have fallen ill with the disease. Approximately 130 of them lost their lives.

The WHO recently deployed approximately 400 people, including members of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, to respond to the outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The WHO said that it takes many precautions to protect its workers before they are deployed to outbreak areas. Once in the field, healthcare workers are given medical advice and support.

The organization also said, however, that international health workers are an important part of the Ebola response as the affected countries have weakened and fragile systems. The WHO said a surge of experts is essential to support the work of health workers on the front lines of the outbreak.

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 1,300 people to date.