First French Ebola patient still in Liberia waiting for airlift home: MSF

18th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

The first French person to have been infected by the deadly Ebola virus was still in Liberia Thursday and was waiting to be airlifted home, according to the humanitarian group she works for.

The patient -- a female volunteer for Doctors Without Borders (MSF in French), which has been hugely active in the fight against the killer virus that is ravaging west Africa -- was placed in isolation on Tuesday after showing symptoms of the disease.

She had been working in Liberia for several weeks before being infected, and was waiting for a special medical plane to fly her back to France, Bertrand Draguez, MSF's medical director, told reporters Thursday.

"It's already been more than 40 hours and it's too long," he said, adding the special plane belongs to a private company and had to take off from the United States.

MSF has not released the name of the patient or what her position was as a volunteer. It said however she is in a stable condition.

She will be treated at a military hospital in Paris, French military medics said.

Almost 2,500 people have been killed in west Africa by Ebola, which causes severe fever and muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea -- in some cases shutting down organs and causing unstoppable bleeding.

Faced with the severity of the latest outbreak of the disease in west Africa earlier this year, French authorities have readied several hospitals in Paris and the rest of the country to take charge of any potential patients.

There is currently no cure for Ebola but an experimental serum has been given to patients, some of whom have recovered although there is no indication their survival was due to the drugs.

© 2014 AFP

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