The first Briton to have contracted the deadly Ebola virus has been given the experimental drug ZMapp, the London hospital where he is being treated said on Tuesday, two days after he was brought back from West Africa.

British volunteer nurse William Pooley, 29, had been working at an Ebola center in Sierra Leone when he tested positive for the disease. He was flown home on Sunday in a specially adapted Royal Air Force cargo plane and taken to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in north London.

"After careful consideration William decided that he would like to take the experimental drug ZMapp and he took the first dose of the drug on Monday," the hospital said in a statement.