UN medical official tests positive for Ebola

The official is the second member of the UN mission to contract Ebola.

An MSF medical worker at an Ebola treatment facility. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - An international medical official with the United Nations mission in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus.

The official, who has not yet been identified, is the second member of the mission to contract the virus. The first died last month.

On Monday Spanish health officials confirmed the first case of Ebola contracted outside of Africa.

A 40-year-old nurse from Madrid tested positive for the hemorrhagic fever.

The case has shocked many and has raised concerns about the readiness of countries to deal with any outbreak.

In South Africa health practitioners have reassured South Africans that systems are in place to keep the fever out of the country.

Doctor Guy Richards from Wits University says there are very stringent screenings in the country's airports to detect any symptoms.

"Our port health authorities screen people who have been to the region so the idea is to pick up people early then isolate them and treat them appropriately."

The deadly epidemic has killed more than 3,400 people in West Africa.


Burial teams in Sierra Leone have abandoned the dead bodies of Ebola victims in the capital after going on strike this week.

The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that the highly contagious bodies are now being left in homes and on the streets of Freetown because of the strike by burial teams, who've complained that they've not been paid.

The pay dispute centres on a one-week backlog for hazard pay that was deposited in the bank but was not given to burial teams on time.

There's anger and fear in the streets outside the Madrid hospital where the nurse is being treated.