Ebola outbreak: WHO calls for ‘drastic action’ to halt spread of the virus across West Africa
There have been 759 confirmed cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since it was detected three months ago
Thursday 03 July 2014
African politicians and health experts have gathered in Ghana for a second day in an attempt to find a way of halting the rapid spread of Ebola in West Africa – the worst such outbreak in history.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that “drastic action” is now required to stem the outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and beyond. In the three months since it was detected there have been 759 confirmed cases in the three counties, resulting in 467 deaths, according to the WHO. The strain of Ebola kills up to 90 per cent of those infected.
Dr Peter Piot, who jointly discovered the virus in Zaire in 1976, said that the situation facing health authorities is “unprecedented”. He continued: “One, [this is] the first time in West Africa that we have such an outbreak; secondly, it is the first time that three countries are involved. And thirdly it’s the first time that we have outbreaks in capitals, in capital cities.”
Read more: What is Ebola and how is it spread?
Today, health ministers of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Uganda again heard that the West African states lacked the resources to battle the outbreak.
“We are pleased that health ministries from the region and international aid organisations have recognised the scale of the current Ebola outbreak,” Marie-Christine Ferir, of Médecins Sans Frontières, told The Independent. “We urge all parties present at this meeting to turn their promises into immediate concrete action on the ground. Qualified medical staff need to be made available, training in how to treat Ebola must be organised, contact tracing and awareness-raising activities among the population need to be stepped up rapidly.”
Meanwhile, Dr Dilys Morgan of Public Health England, warned that the outbreak was a “cause for concern” in Britain. While the risk to travellers was “very low”, she said doctors should “remain vigilant”.
Life & Style blogs
Charlie Charlie Challenge: everyone on the internet thinks it’s a marketing stunt, but it probably isn’t
Not brushing your teeth can lead to dementia and heart disease
Yves Saint Laurent ad banned for featuring 'unhealthily underweight' model
Insomnia could be cured with one simple therapy session, new study claims
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
- 1 Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...