WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is suffering from a chronic lung condition after spending months inside a one-room office at the Ecuadorian embassy, the country's ambassador has said.

Ecuador's Ambassador to the UK Ana Alban said she intends to appeal to the Home Office for Assange to be granted safe passage to medical services following his illness.

He currently requires constant medical attention at his refuge inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, she told El Ciudadano, an Ecuadorian government newspaper, during a visit to Quito yesterday.

Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador in June, after unsuccessfully attempting to halt his extradition from Britain to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning on sexual assault charges concerning two women.

Ms Alban said Ecuador is covering Assange's medical costs, but fears his condition could get worse over the winter because he has limited access to sunlight and fresh air.

Assange gained fame after publishing a catalogue of sensitive documents, US diplomatic cables and military files from the US and Afghan wars online.

According to the BBC, Ecuador has previously sought assurances he would not be arrested if hospitalised.

The UK said then it would not prevent "any medical care that he requires".