Ebola outbreak: Sierra Leone suspends football matches as virus continues to sweep through west Africa

The Sierra Leone Football Association has followed Liberia in cancelling all football matches to help prevent spread of the disease

Sierra Leone has cancelled all football matches with immediate effect in an effort to stem the spread of the virulent Ebola disease.

It comes almost a week after Liberia also suspended football activities, with the countries having lost 250 and 230 people respectively, to the virus.

Last Thursday, the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, declared a public health emergency as Ebola swept through western Africa and showed no signs of slowing down.

It has become the largest outbreak ever and threatens to take more victims, with Guinea and Nigeria also affected.

According to the BBC, the football ban means that the national team may not be able to play their at-home 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Cameroon next month.

 

The team were also supposed to travel to the Seychelles last Saturday for a qualifying game, but were denied visas thus prevented from boarding a plane to the island following fears that Ebola could travel to the archipelago with them.

The move, made at the request of the Seychelles Ministry of Health, resulted in the Indian Ocean island nation forfeiting its place in the competition.

The football ban comes amid the Ebola crisis’ fast-moving developments: Nigerian authorities have confirmed a second case in the populous country, while a US health official has said he expects a vaccine by next July.

Nigeria had previously confirmed just one case of Ebola – a Liberian-American doctor called Patrick Sawyer, who was allowed to travel on an international fight from Liberia to Lagos despite displaying many of the symptoms of the disease. He died on 25 July.

READ MORE: Ebola: Gatwick scare for 'petrified' staff
US nurse with disease set to leave Liberia
Emirates first major airline to suspend all flights

The second person diagnosed with the virus is Sawyer’s doctor.

“Three others who participated in that treatment who are currently symptomatic have had their samples taken and hopefully by the end of today we should have the results of their own test,” Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said.

Liberian health authorities have ordered Ebola victims to be cremated amid fears that burying deceased victims would not necessarily stop the spread.

A vaccine has reportedly had some success on monkeys, Dr Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, told CBS This Morning.

He said that human trials of the preventative measure will start in September and that by July it should be ready.

Almost 730 people have died after the virus, which currently has no vaccine or cure, struck west Africa.

It travels from person to person via bodily fluids and blood.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all