The Ebola virus is “winning the race” and the international response to the crisis “is not nearly enough”, the UN official in charge of responding to the outbreak has warned.
“Ebola got a head start on us, is far ahead of us, is running faster than us and is winning the race”, Anthony Banbury told the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) projects the pace of infections accelerating in West Africa - to as many as 10,000 new cases per week within two months.
Mr Banbury said the global response to the Ebola crisis must meet critical goals by 1 December "or face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we don't have a plan".
By that date, the world must ensure that at least 70 per cent of people infected are in treatment and at least 70 per cent of burials occur without contamination, he said.
David Cameron will speak with US president Barack Obama, as well as the leaders of Germany, France and Italy, about international efforts to counter the outbreak in a conference call later on Wednesday.
More than 4,440 people have died from Ebola, mainly in the worst affected areas of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
See the Ebola outbreak mapped
See the Ebola outbreak mapped
1/7 25 March 2014
This outbreak of the Ebola virus first emerged in the Guéckédou region of Guinea, at a crossroads with both Liberia and Sierra Leone
2/7 31 March
On 31 March the WHO confirmed the outbreak was now international, spreading first into Liberia's northern-most Lofa region
3/7 27 May
The virus spread to Sierra Leone at the end of May - just as agencies were hoping the worst was over
4/7 27 July
In Sierra Leone the virus boomed, and then it spread to Nigeria when the Liberian diplomat Patrick Sawyer flew from Monrovia to Lagos
5/7 9 August
The Nigeria cases sparked fears around the world, and there have now been deaths in Spain and Saudi Arabia involving people who had travelled to West Africa. The numbers of cases continue to rise
6/7 17-20 September
In mid-September, Senegal confirmed its first case linked to the Ebola outbreak, a development the WHO described as a top priority emergency. Numbers of cases continued to grow exponentially in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, as experts warned they could number one million by January if not contained
7/7 8 October
Two cases of Ebola have now been reported in the US and Europe - the first times the virus has been contracted among health workers outside Africa
On Wednesday, officials confirmed a second healthcare worker who had treated Ebola victim Thomas Duncan tested positive for the virus in Texas.
The test results came after Nina Pham became the first person to contract the deadly virus in Dallas at the weekend. Ms Pham had also been in close contact with Mr Duncan while treating him before his death last Wednesday.
Video: Ebola screening concerns
Ms Pham and other health care workers wore protective gear, including gowns, gloves, masks and face shields — and sometimes full-body suits — when caring for Mr Duncan.
But health officials have said there was a breach in protocol that led to the infections, a claim denied by the National Nurses Union in Texas.
Additional reporting by agenciesReuse content