Ebola Virus
Medical staff put on protective gear in Kenema Government Hospital before taking a sample from a suspected Ebola patient.Reuters

The Liberian government has announced that it is to begin burning the bodies of Ebola victims as the plane to transport the second American medical official with the virus arrives in the capital, Monrovia.

"We have decided to burn the bodies," Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown told local media.

The decision comes after residents of several communities protested against the burial of Ebola victims in their areas for fear of catching the virus.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also told health ministry officials to consider the cremation of Ebola victims.

"Cremation will take place in Marshall beginning today," said Brown, speaking of the town in Margibi County, a region affected by the tropical disease.

"It [the Liberian government] has been slow to collect bodies because of the refusal and the resistance by communities," he said.

As Sirleaf's administration takes steps to ensure the safety of its population, a chartered evacuation plane has landed in the country to transport the second American medical worker with the Ebola back to the United States.

It is scheduled to leave Liberia early Tuesday morning with Nancy Writebol, a missionary from North Carolina, on board. She is to be treated at the same medical facility where American doctor Kent Brantly has been taken.

Writebol's family said that she "is still struggling" but "there seems to be improvement" amid optimism that she will recover from the deadly virus.

A second case of Ebola was reported in Nigeria on Monday, heightening fears that the disease could spread even further across the region.

The tropical virus has killed at least 887 people across four West African countries - Senegal, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. The World Health Organisation (WHO) described the outbreak as the worst in the disease's history.