Ebola virus: US aid worker infected with disease as major airline cancels all services to countries affected by outbreak

The announcement came amid what the World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling the largest outbreak ever recorded of the disease

A US aid worker has been infected with the deadly Ebola virus while treating victims of the disease at a hospital in West Africa.

Nancy Writebol, a missionary sent by the Calvary Church in North Carolina, becomes the second American citizen to contract the virus after Dr Kent Brantly, a doctor also working at an Ebola centre in the capital of Liberia, Monrovia.

It came as Arik Air, one of West Africa’s biggest airlines, suspended all services to Liberia and Sierra Leone in response to what is now the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history.

The virus is suspected to have killed more than 670 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and on Friday the Nigerian government confirmed its first case – the death of a Liberian man who had flown to Lagos via Lome in Togo.

It is that news which sparked Arik Air’s decision to shut down all its operations into Monrovia and Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

Read more:
The 10 biggest threats to the world's health
Ebola virus spreads to Nigeria by plane

The Nigeria-based airline issued a statement urging the government to ban all inbound flights from the three countries affected by Ebola, saying its own decision was taken to protect “the well-being of Nigerians”.

The case highlights the challenge of containing Ebola, with weak checking systems and a lack of public understanding about the dangers of travelling once symptoms emerge.

There is no cure to the disease, which can have a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent, and because it is passed on through bodily fluids it poses a particular risk to health workers.

Video: Ebola is incurable and kills in 90% of cases

Ms Writebol tested positive after working as a hygienist decontaminating those entering and leaving the hospital’s Ebola care centre, the US aid group Samaritan’s Purse said.

Dr Brantly, 33, was the medical director of the centre when he fell ill. He was described as being in a stable but very serious condition, according to Samaritan’s Purse’s Ken Isaacs, who added: “It's been a shock to everyone on our team to have two of our players get pounded with the disease.”

On Saturday Dr Samuel Brisbane, one of Liberia’s most prominent health officials treating Ebola patients at the country's largest hospital, died after contracting the disease.

A Ugandan doctor working in Liberia also died earlier this month, while last week the virus infected Sheikh Umar Khan, Sierra Leone’s chief Ebola doctor

Tolbert Nyenswah, a Liberian health minister, said the situation “is getting more and more scary”.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments