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UN worker dies of Ebola in Germany

Author: BBC

A United Nations medical worker infected with Ebola has died at a hospital in Germany.

Doctors at the hospital in Leipzig said the man, 56, originally from Sudan, died despite receiving experimental drugs to treat the virus.

The outbreak has killed more than 4,000 people since March - mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

The World Health Organization says the outbreak is the "the most severe, acute health emergency in modern times".


  • The US and UK are among countries to have introduced scanning at airports
  • A unit of Sierra Leone's international peacekeeping force on standby for deployment in Somalia has been placed in quarantine after one member was confirmed with Ebola
  • A Spanish nurse remains in critical condition after becoming the first person to contract the disease outside of Africa last week, although doctors say there are signs of improvement
  • UN Ebola mission leader Tony Banbury has called for massive support from governments worldwide, saying: "We need everything... we need it everywhere, and we need it superfast."

Ebola patients treated outside West Africa*

Map showing Ebola cases treated outside West Africa

*In all cases but two, first in Madrid and later in Dallas, the patient was infected with Ebola while in West Africa.

How not to catch Ebola:

  • Avoid direct contact with sick patients as the virus is spread through contaminated body fluids
  • Wear goggles to protect eyes
  • Clothing and clinical waste should be incinerated and any medical equipment that needs to be kept should be decontaminated
  • People who recover from Ebola should abstain from sex or use condoms for three months

Why Ebola is so dangerous

How Ebola attacks

Ebola: Mapping the outbreak


Temperature checks

The man had been working as a UN medical official in Liberia - one of the worst affected countries - when he caught Ebola.

He arrived in Germany last Thursday for treatment and was put into a hermetically sealed ward, accessed through airlock systems.

"Despite intensive medical measures and maximum efforts by the medical team, the 56-year-old UN employee succumbed to the serious infectious disease," a statement from St Georg hospital said.

He was the second member of the UN team in Liberia to die from the virus, the BBC's Jenny Hill in Berlin says.

He was the third Ebola patient to be treated for the deadly virus in Germany after contracting the disease in the outbreak zone in West Africa.

A health worker uses a protective suit during a presentation for the media at the international airport in Guatemala City 13 October 2014. Front-line health workers are at high risk of contamination
Passengers arrive at Terminal 1 of Heathrow Airport amid enhanced screening for Ebola on 14 October 2014. London's Heathrow airport is to start screening passengers arriving from the worst affected countries

One patient - a Ugandan doctor infected in Sierra Leone - is still receiving treatment in a hospital in Frankfurt, while a Senegalese aid worker was released from a hospital in Hamburg after five weeks of treatment.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is alarmed by the number of health workers who have been exposed to the disease.

The WHO has warned the epidemic threatens the "very survival" of societies and could lead to failed states.


Ebola deaths: Confirmed, probable and suspected

Ebola infograph

Source: WHO

Note: figures have occasionally been revised down as suspected or probable cases are found to be unrelated to Ebola. They do not include one death in the US recorded on 8 October.