Germany's first installment of medical aid to fight the Ebola epidemic has arrived in Liberia. According to World Health Organization's new estimates, the world's worst-ever outbreak of the virus has killed 3,439 people.
The German government's first tranche of medical support arrived in the Liberian capital of Monrovia on Friday. A spokeswoman for the Defense Ministry told the news agency DPA that a German air force plane had delivered supplies from the Senegalese capital of Dakar to the virus-stricken country.
German health officials confirmed Friday that a Ugandan doctor who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone had been admitted to a hospital in the city of Frankfurt. He is the second Ebola victim to be treated in the country.
"The patient is an employee of an Italian NGO. He has Ugandan nationality and has worked as a doctor in Sierra Leone," said Stefan Grüttner, social affairs minister for Germany's western state of Hesse. "He worked in the African county with people affected by the virus and was infected," he added.
Ebola has been responsible for 739 deaths in Guinea and 623 in Sierra Leone by the end of October 1, and 2,069 fatalities in Liberia as of September 30, the new World Health Organization (WHO) data showed. The deadly virus has also killed eight people in Nigeria, the UN body said on Friday.
In total, 7,492 Ebola cases have been recorded, including 20 in Nigeria, one in Senegal and one in the United States, the WHO said.
United States on alert
A 33-year-old US cameraman was tested positive for Ebola on Thursday. Ashka Mukpo, who worked in the African state of Liberia for three years and covered the spread of the epidemic for various media outlets, began experiencing Ebola's symptoms on Wednesday. He is the fifth US citizen and the country's first journalist known to have contracted the virus in West Africa.
Health officials in the US state of Texas said on Friday they were monitoring 50 people for Ebola exposure, 10 of whom are at high risk of the disease after close contact with the first diagnosed US patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, who traveled from Liberia to Texas in late September, and was announced Tuesday as the first diagnosed US case of Ebola.
"Most of these individuals are low risk. There are about 10 individuals that are at high risk, so we are watching those individuals very carefully," said David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Members of the US Congress have set an October 17 deadline for the Obama administration to come up with a detailed plan to battle Ebola in West Africa.
The Pentagon announced its decision on Friday to increase the number of US troops deployed in Liberia to fight the outbreak to 4,000, up from a planned 3,000-strong force.
shs/dr (AFP, Reuters, dpa)