UK

Ebola Outbreak: American Doctor Kent Brantly Contracts Disease In Liberia

27/07/2014 13:30 BST | Updated 27/07/2014 13:59 BST

A US doctor has contracted Ebola in the epidemic that is ravaging west Africa - the first American to contract the disease in an outbreak that has killed hundreds.

Dr Kent Brantly, 33, who is working for the relief organisation Samaritan's Purse in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, recognised the symptoms and confined himself to an isolation ward.

In a statement, the charity said: "Dr Kent Brantly, Medical Director for the Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia, has tested positive for the Ebola virus.

"He is currently undergoing treatment at a Samaritan’s Purse isolation center at ELWA Hospital.

kent brantly

Dr. Kent Brantly (pictured in protective gear on the right) gives orders for medication to administer to the Ebola patients through the doorway of the isolation unit

"Samaritan’s Purse is continuing medical operations at our Ebola Case Management Centers in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the Liberia Ministry of Health, and other global health authorities."

"Dr. Brantly is married with two children. Samaritan’s Purse is committed to doing everything possible to help Dr. Brantly during this time of crisis. We ask everyone to please pray for him and his family."

The organisation said it was not clear how he had contracted it, saying he followed strict safety protocols when treating people, Reuters reported.

In Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, at least 660 people have died in the epidemic and relief organisations have played a crucial role in helping ill-equipped governments as they struggle to cope with the outbreak.

The mortality rate has been around 60% of those infected.

Symptoms of the highly contagious disease include from vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding both internal external.

SEE ALSO: