Doctors Without Borders staffer infected with Ebola in Liberia

French aid worker with Doctors Without Borders contracts Ebola in Liberia

A Doctors Without Borders staff member from France has contracted the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, the group announced Wednesday. She is the group's first international staffer to become infected with Ebola in the current outbreak, a spokesman said.

The French worker -- on assignment in Monrovia, Liberia's capital -- was put in isolation Tuesday after developing a fever, the group said in a statement. Laboratory tests confirmed she had contracted Ebola, and she is to be evacuated to France for treatment, it said.

Doctors Without Borders said it is investigating how the worker contracted the virus.

The group said that for privacy reasons it was not identifying the worker or commenting further at this time.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the worst on record and has caused the most devastation in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, where it was first reported in March. As of Saturday, nearly 5,000 Ebola cases were reported in the region, although many had not yet been confirmed through lab testing, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. Almost half of those believed infected have died.

There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola, which is transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids of those infected.

Doctors Without Borders said more than 2,000 of its personnel, including about 200 international volunteers, are working in West Africa.

Two of the group's national staff members -- one from Guinea and one from Sierra Leone -- died last month after contracting Ebola, a spokesman said. 

Times staff writer Alexandra Zavis contributed to this report.

For news about the Ebola outbreak and much more, follow @raablauren on Twitter.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


12:49 p.m.: This story has been updated to add comments from a Doctors Without Borders spokesman.

12:01 p.m.: This story has been updated to add details and background information.

The first version of this story was published at 11:55 a.m.