A World Health Organization employee who has contracted Ebola arrived in Germany today, the first patient with the virus to be treated in the country, officials said.

A plane carrying the patient, a Senegalese epidemiologist who was infected in Sierra Leone, touched down at the airport of the northern city of Hamburg and was to be taken to a hospital isolation ward.

A convoy of police and fire brigade vehicles was to guard the specially equipped ambulance on its way to the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, which specialises in treating contagious diseases.

A press conference was scheduled at the hospital for 1pm Irish time.

The WHO had in July asked for another of its employees to be treated in the hospital, but the infected health worker died soon after.

The lethal tropical virus, which re-emerged in west Africa early this year has since infected more than 2,600 people and killed 1,427.

Liberia has been worst-hit, with 624 registered deaths. Guinea, where the disease was first discovered, has reported 406 deaths, Sierra Leone 392 and Nigeria five, the WHO said last Friday.

The UN body said on Monday that more than 120 health workers across west Africa had died during the "unprecedented" outbreak, and more than 240 had been infected.