Liberia’s United Nations peacekeeping mission has placed 41 staff members, including 20 military personnel, under “close medical observation” after an international member of its medical team was diagnosed with Ebola this week — the second mission member to test positive for the deadly disease.
“This measure is precautionary and meant to ensure no possible further transmission of the disease,” the mission said in a statement Friday. “None of the personnel who are contacts have shown any symptoms but will be observed for the full 21-day possible incubation period.”
The World Health Organization says 21 days is the maximum incubation period for Ebola, which is spread via the bodily fluids of infected people. The 41 staffers were identified as having possibly come into contact with the member of the medical team, whose name and nationality have not been disclosed.
The patient tested positive Monday and arrived in Germany Thursday for treatment — the third Ebola patient to be flown there. The St. Georg Hospital in Leipzig said this week the patient would be placed in a special isolation unit.
The first U.N. staffer in Liberia to come down with Ebola died Sept. 26.
The mission is implementing additional measures to avoid more cases, including daily temperature checks and screening at a military facility where 209 people work, Friday’s statement said.
Liberia has recorded 2,316 confirmed, suspected and probable Ebola deaths — far more than any other country touched by the current outbreak, according to the latest World Health Organization figures released Friday.
The outbreak has now killed more than 4,000 people in total, the WHO said.
More than 400 health care workers have contracted Ebola, and 233 of those have died, according to the WHO. Liberia and Sierra Leone have both recorded 95 health worker deaths.