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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:19 pm 
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WHO: Ebola death toll tops 1,900, surpassing all previous outbreaks combined

By Abby Ohlheiser September 3 at 2:27 PM
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A medical worker of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy hospital in Monrovia wears a protective suit before going to the high-risk area of the Liberian hospital. (Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)
The death toll from the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has surpassed 1,900 people, the World Health Organization’s chief said Wednesday.

Less than a week ago the death toll stood at 1,552 people. More people have now died in the 2014 Ebola epidemic than in all previous outbreaks combined (1,590, according to the WHO).

WHO’s director general Margaret Chan, speaking at a special UN press briefing on the outbreak, said Wednesday that the “Ebola epidemic is the largest, and most severe, and most complex we have ever seen in the nearly 40-year history of this disease.” She added: “No one, even outbreak responders, (has) ever seen anything like it.”

According to the WHO, more than 3,500 people have been infected with the deadly virus as of this week in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

While sounding the alarm on the rapid spread of the disease in those countries, Chan added that the outbreak in Nigeria is, while still serious, “much smaller” and mainly contained to those connected to the air traveler who first brought the disease to the country. However, a contact of that air traveler brought the virus to Port Harcourt, where there are now three confirmed cases, the WHO added. Senegal, Chan said, is still reporting just one case within its borders: a Guinean national who traveled there.

Speaking of the importance of a robust international response to the outbreak, Chan added, “with this international response, coordinated response, the money is coming, the technical experts are coming, so we hope to stop the transmission [of Ebola] in six to nine months.”

The news comes as global heath officials worry that the window for bringing Ebola under control is closing fast. New estimates from global health officials indicate that it could take more than $600 million to control the epidemic’s spread.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worl ... -combined/

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:25 pm 
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U.N. says $600 million needed to tackle Ebola as toll tops 1,900
BY TONI CLARKE AND SALIOU SAMB
WASHINGTON/CONAKRY Wed Sep 3, 2014 4:32pm EDT
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(L-R) World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan, Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola Virus Disease Dr. David Nabarro, and Assistant WHO Director-General for Health Security Dr. Keiji Fukuda appear at a briefing to discuss the Ebola outbreak in West Africa at the UN Foundation in Washington September 3, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

(Reuters) - The United Nations said it would take $600 million in supplies to control an outbreak of Ebola in West Africa as the death toll from the worst ever epidemic of the virus topped 1,900 and Guinea warned it had penetrated a new part of the country.

The pace of the infection has accelerated, with close to 400 deaths in the past week, officials said on Wednesday. It was first detected deep in the forests of southeastern Guinea in March.

The hemorrhagic fever has now spread to five countries in the region and has killed more people than all outbreaks since Ebola was first uncovered in 1976.

"This Ebola epidemic is the longest, the most severe and the most complex we've ever seen," said Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) at a press conference in Washington, adding that there were more than 3,500 cases across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Dr David Nabarro, senior U.N. Coordinator for Ebola, said the cost of getting the supplies needed by West Africa countries to control the crisis would amount to $600 million. That was higher than an estimate of $490 million by the WHO last week.

Dr Rick Sacra, a 51-year-old Boston physician infected with Ebola in Liberia, could be medically evacuated as soon as Thursday, according to staff at the hospital where he worked. Two other Americans recovered from the virus after being taken for treatment in the United States last month.

Guinea, the first country to detect the virus, previously said it was containing the outbreak but announced that nine new cases had been found in the prefecture of Kerouane, some 750 km (470 miles) southeast of the capital Conakry.

"There has been a new outbreak in Kerouane, but we have sent in a team to contain it," said Aboubacar Sikidi Diakité, head of Guinea's Ebola task force.

The latest outbreak started after the arrival of an infected person from neighboring Liberia, and a total of 18 people were under observation in the region, the health ministry said.

Guinea has recorded a total of 489 deaths and 749 Ebola cases as of Sept. 1, and the epicentre of the outbreak has shifted to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Guinean President Alpha Conde urged health personnel to step up their efforts to avoid new infections. Health workers have been hard hit by a disease that is spread by physical contact, with more than 120 killed in the three worst-affected countries.

"Even for a simple malaria (case), you have to protect yourselves before consulting any sick person until the end of this epidemic," Conde said in a televised broadcast. "We had started to succeed, but you dropped the ball and here we go again."

The haemorrhagic fever is also gaining a foothold in Nigeria where 17 cases have been reported, including three in the oil hub of Port Harcourt. The WHO warned that the outbreak there "has the potential to grow larger and spread faster than the one in Lagos" as containment measures had been less effective.

The fifth country infected was Senegal, which confirmed its first case last week: a student who slipped across the border from Guinea and made his way to the coastal capital Dakar.

More than 50 cases of Ebola have also been reported in a remote northern jungle region of Democratic Republic of Congo, although these are not linked to the West African cases.

Since Ebola was first detected in Congo in 1976, WHO has reported more than 20 outbreaks in Africa and 1,590 victims.

OUTBREAK NOT UNDER CONTROL

In a stark analysis last week, the WHO warned that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people and spread to 10 countries.

Doctor Tom Kenyon, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) Centre for Global Health, said on Wednesday the outbreak was "spiraling out of control" and he warned that the window of opportunity for controlling it was closing.

"Guinea did show that with action, they brought it partially under control. But unfortunately it is back on the increase now," he told a conference call. "It's not under control anywhere."

He warned that the longer the outbreak went uncontained, the greater the possibility the virus could mutate, making it more difficult to contain. Ebola is only transmitted in humans by contact with the blood or bodily fluids of sick people, though suspected cases of airborne infection have been reported in monkeys in laboratories.

A senior U.S. official rebutted a call from medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) for wealthy nations to deploy specialized biological disaster response teams to the region. MSF on Tuesday had warned that 800 more beds for Ebola patients were urgently needed in Liberian capital Monrovia alone.

"I don't think at this point deploying biological incident response teams is exactly what's needed," said Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy on the National Security Council.

She said the U.S. government was focusing efforts on rapidly increasing the number of Ebola treatment centers in affected countries, providing protective equipment and ensuring local staff received training.

"We will see a considerable ramp-up in the coming days and weeks. If we find it is still moving out of control, we will look at other options," Smith told a conference call.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Tuesday a federal contract worth up to $42.3 million would help accelerate testing of an experimental Ebola virus treatment being developed by privately held Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc.

Human safety trials are due to begin this week on a vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline Plc and later this year on one from NewLink Genetics Corp.

(Additional reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington, Daniel Flynn and Bate Felix in Dakar; Writing by Bate Felix and Emma Farge; editing by Jane Baird)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/ ... V320140903

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:30 pm 
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The World Health Organisation says more than 1,900 people have now died in West Africa’s Ebola outbreak.

WHO head Margaret Chan said there were 3,500 confirmed or probable cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

“The outbreaks are racing ahead of the control efforts in these countries,” she said.

On Thursday the WHO is holding a meeting to examine the most promising treatments and to discuss how to fast track their testing and production.

Disease control experts, medical researchers, officials from affected countries, and specialists in medical ethics will all be represented at the meeting in Geneva.

The WHO has previously warned that more than 20,000 people could be infected before the outbreak of the virus is brought under control.

http://www.punchng.com/news/ebola-death ... um=twitter

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:52 pm 
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An outbreak of the Ebola virus has killed over 1,900 people in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

"As of this week, we are reporting 3,500 cases confirmed in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and more than 1,900 deaths -- and the outbreak is rising," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan told a news conference in Washington on Wednesday.

Chan, however, expressed hope that the disease can be contained “in six to nine months.”

"With this international response, coordinated response, the money is coming, the technical experts are coming, so we hope to stop the transmission in six to nine months."

She also added that in countries with "very intense transmission" -- Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia -- "we would like to reverse the trend in three months."

Ebola is a form of hemorrhagic fever whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding.

The virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces or sweat. It can also be spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.

Ebola was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976 in an outbreak that killed 280 people.

It remains one of the world’s most virulent diseases, which kills between 25 to 90 percent of those who fall sick.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/09/03 ... ebola-who/

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:26 pm 
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3 September 2014 Last updated at 17:07 ET
Ebola death toll passes 1,900, says WHO
Image
A girl walks past a slogan painted on a wall reading "Stop Ebola" in Monrovia - 31 August 2014
The outbreak has brought cases to five countries in West Africa

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says more than 1,900 people have now died in West Africa's Ebola outbreak.

WHO head Margaret Chan said there were 3,500 confirmed or probable cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

"The outbreaks are racing ahead of the control efforts in these countries," she said.

On Thursday the WHO is holding a meeting to examine the most promising treatments and to discuss how to fast track their testing and production.

Disease control experts, medical researchers, officials from affected countries, and specialists in medical ethics will all be represented at the meeting in Geneva.

The WHO has previously warned that more than 20,000 people could be infected before the outbreak of the virus is brought under control.

Ms Chan described the outbreak as "the largest and most severe and most complex we have ever seen".

"No one, even outbreak responders with experience dating back to 1976, to 1995, people that were directly involved with those outbreaks, none of them have ever seen anything like it," she said.

Forty per cent of the deaths have occurred in three weeks leading up to 3 September, the WHO says.

A health care worker of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy hospital of Monrovia
Medical charities have called for the international response to the outbreak to be stepped up
'Losing the battle'
On Wednesday Nigeria reported two further cases in the city of Port Harcourt.

There had previously only been one case outside the city of Lagos, where five people have died from the virus.

"The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt has the potential to grow larger and spread faster than the one in Lagos," the WHO warned.

Also on Wednesday, the first British person to contract Ebola during the outbreak was discharged from hospital after making a full recovery.

On Tuesday medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres warned that a global military intervention was needed to combat the outbreak.

MSF condemned the global response so far as "lethally inadequate" and said the world was "losing the battle" to contain the outbreak.

It has called for military and civilian teams capable of dealing with a biological disaster to be deployed immediately, as well as for more field hospitals with isolation wards to be set up, trained healthcare workers to be sent to the region and air support to move patients and medics across West Africa.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29055041

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:42 pm 
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Quarantine escapee sparked more Ebola in Nigeria

Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Sep 03, 2014

The man escaped quarantine in Lagos and sought care in Port Harcourt, both in southern Nigeria.
A contact of Nigeria's first Ebola patient fled quarantine in August and passed the disease to a doctor, who subsequently infected at least two other people, offering a textbook example of how not to deal with the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today.

The episode extended Ebola's reach in Nigeria from Lagos, the capital, to Port Harcourt, the country's oil hub on the southeastern coast. Because of the number of people exposed to the doctor, the outbreak in Port Harcourt could grow bigger than the original outbreak in Lagos, the WHO said.

Meanwhile, a trio of United Nations (UN) and WHO officials today again stressed the urgent need to expand the international response to West Africa's Ebola epidemic, but insisted that the governments of the affected countries must remain in charge of efforts within their borders. The officials estimated that the international effort will cost at least $600 million.

Port Harcourt cases
A sick airline passenger, Patrick Sawyer, spread Ebola virus to Nigeria when he flew from Liberia to Lagos on Jul 20; he died on Jul 25. One of Sawyer's close contacts in Lagos fled the city, where he was under quarantine, to seek treatment in Port Harcourt, the WHO said in today's statement.

The contact was treated from Aug 1 to 3 by a male physician at a Port Harcourt hotel. The physician fell ill on Aug 11, but for 2 days afterward he continued treating patients at his private clinic, operating on at least two of them, the WHO said.

On Aug 13 his symptoms worsened, and he then stayed home until he was hospitalized on Aug 16, the WHO said. He died on Aug 22, and his Ebola virus disease (EVD) was confirmed on Aug 27 by a lab at Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

After he got sick, the doctor had numerous contacts with others, both before and after his hospitalization, the WHO said. In the hospital, members of his church visited him and performed a healing ritual said to involve the laying on of hands, and he was attended by most of the hospital staff.

The two people who caught the virus from the physician are his wife, also a doctor, and another patient at the hospital where he was treated, according to the WHO, which did not describe their conditions. Other hospital staff members are being tested.

"Given these multiple high-risk exposure opportunities, the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt has the potential to grow larger and spread faster than the one in Lagos," the agency said.

It said Nigerian health workers and WHO epidemiologists are monitoring more than 200 contacts, including about 60 believed to have had high-risk or very high-risk exposures.

The Port Harcourt cases apparently raise Nigeria's Ebola count to at least 20 cases and 7 deaths. The latest WHO general update on Ebola in West Africa, on Aug 28, put Nigeria's tally at 17 cases and 6 deaths.

Nigeria responds
The WHO said the Nigerian government has taken a number of emergency steps in response to the new cases, with support from the WHO, the UN Children's Fund, and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

The government has activated an Ebola emergency operations center, set up a 26-bed isolation facility, and put 21 teams to work on contact tracing. The emergency center is supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition, the WHO and local officials are assessing public measures at airport gates and other ports of entry in Port Harcourt.

But the agency warned that security problems and public fear of Ebola "create serious problems that could hamper response operations," with military escorts needed when moving patients into the Ebola treatment center.

WHO, UN officials underline urgency
At a press briefing in Washington, DC, today, WHO and UN officials again stressed the need to accelerate the response to West Africa's Ebola crisis.

"We're not in a position where we can afford to lose a day, because the outbreak is currently moving ahead of efforts to control it," said David Nabarro, MD, senior UN system coordinator for Ebola disease.

Nabarro, who just returned from a needs assessment trip to West Africa with the WHO's Keiji Fukuda, MD, said, "We need on the order of three to four times what is currently in place" in the way of resources to battle the epidemic.

He estimated that it will cost "at least $600 million and maybe a lot more to get the necessary support to the countries to get this under control."

Today's briefing followed a meeting in New York yesterday at which UN and other officials addressed UN member states to emphasize the seriousness of the Ebola situation in West Africa and urged them to send aid to the region.

Fukuda, the WHO's assistant director-general for health security and environment, said he and Nabarro met with a wide range of officials and people at all levels during their visit to Monrovia, Liberia, and Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The main message they heard was about the lack of capacity to respond to the epidemic, including the lack of treatment centers, vehicles, protective equipment, and funds, he said.

"But of all things that are low in capacity, the most important is that we don't have enough people on the ground," including nurses, doctors, drivers, contact investigators, Fukuda said.

Aside from Nabarro's cost estimate, he, Fukuda, and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, MD, MPH, declined to estimate just how many health workers or other types of resources are needed. They noted previously announced goals of reversing the trend in cases within 3 months and stopping transmission in 6 to 9 months.

They also stressed the obstacles caused by the Ebola-inspired cancellations of airline flights to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Chan said she has talked with experts from around the world who are willing to go to the region to provide infection control and clinical care, but because of flight cancellations, "We are unable to deploy them."

Reporters asked the three officials why, given the magnitude or the problem, they weren't calling for more of a military-style, "command and control" response, like the "massive mobilization" coordinated by the US Navy in response to the 2004 tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia.

Nabarro replied that he believes it is possible to cope with the situation "with the institutions and resources we have," but added that scaling up the response sufficiently and fast enough is very difficult. "Over the next few days we are changing the way the WHO and UN works on this issue, and talking to governments to get them fully invested," he said. "We are talking to all other groups that could provide support."

He commented further, "The governments of the affected countries are in charge; our role is to help them do the job they need to do." He added that the UN aims to do all it can to ensure that responders are protected from infection.

Chan echoed the point about national sovereignty saying, "I don't think any government in this world will accept a takeover by others. So whatever we are doing, we are supporting national authorities to take the leadership."

UK patient released
In other developments, Royal Free Hospital in London today announced the release of William Pooley, a British nurse who contracted EVD in Sierra Leone and was treated at the hospital for 10 days. His treatment included the experimental drug ZMapp, which has been given to several other patients, including two Americans.

In addition, Nancy Writebol, an American missionary and medical worker who was flown back to the United States after contracting EVD in Liberia, talked about her illness and recovery at a press conference today. She was hospitalized at Emory University in Atlanta and was released Aug 19.

Writebol, who worked for the SIM (Service in Mission), said she initially thought she had malaria and was tested and treated for that disease. She said there were many times when she thought she wouldn't survive.

She said she didn't know if the ZMapp she received was what cured her, but suggested it was more the overall combination of treatment, prayers, and support from others that saw her through the illness.

Meanwhile, Bruce Johnson, president of SIM, identified the SIM worker who was recently infected with Ebola in Liberia as Rick Sacra, MD, a Boston doctor, according to a WSOC-TV news report on Writebol's press conference. Johnson said Sacra is in good spirits and communicating with his family by phone and the Internet, the story said.

Also today, the WHO released a list of 197 experts and officials who will take part in a WHO meeting in Geneva the next 2 days to discuss how experimental treatments and vaccines should be used in the Ebola epidemic.

In addition, the biopharmaceutical company Chimerix announced today that its investigational antiviral drug brincidofovir has shown in vitro activity against Ebola virus. The findings came in testing by the CDC and the US National Institutes of Health, the company said in a press release.

Chimerix said phase 3 trials of brincidofovir as a treatment for cytomegalovirus and adenovirus are currently under way. The company noted it will have representatives at the WHO meeting on Ebola treatments this week.

See also:

Sep 3 WHO statement on situation in Nigeria

Audio recording of Sep 3 UN press briefing

Sep 3 press release on release of William Pooley from Royal Free Hospital, London

Sep 3 WSOC-TV story on Nancy Writebol comments (with video link)

WHO's list of participants in Sep 4-5 meeting on Ebola interventions

Sep 3 Chimerix press release

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... la-nigeria

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:46 pm 
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Audio

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:00 pm 
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Washington, Sep 4 (IANS) The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is racing ahead of efforts to control it and at least $600 million is needed to get the unprecedented epidemic under control, UN health officials said Wednesday.
“This Ebola epidemic is the largest, most severe and most complex we have ever seen in the nearly 40-year history of this disease,” Xinhua quoted Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO) Margaret Chan as saying here.
The outbreaks are racing ahead of the control efforts in West African countries, Chan said.
The WHO chief noted that there have been about 3,500 confirmed or probable Ebola cases and more than 1,900 deaths from the deadly disease.
David Nabarro, Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola, estimated that at least $600 million is needed to get the necessary support to the countries to get the outbreak under control.
Nabarro warned of “a serious economic downturn” in the affected West African nations as a result of Ebola outbreak, which would complicate international efforts to contain the disease.
The WHO officials said they were working with commercial airlines to bring their services back to Ebola-stricken countries as cancellation of flights were hurting international efforts to contain the outbreak.
Chan also emphasised that it is uncalled for to refer to Ebola epidemic as an “African disease”, warning that this stigmatisation makes the coordinated global response much more difficult.

http://nvonews.com/ebola-outbreak-racin ... officials/

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:05 pm 
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Ebola death toll jumps to more than 1,900: WHO
Foreign Ebola outbreak 2014-09-04 09:26
by Jean-Louis SANTINI

WASHINGTON, September 3, 2014 (AFP) - More than 1,900 people have now died of Ebola in west Africa, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, warning the world's worst-ever outbreak of the virus is still gathering pace.

Global health experts have stepped up their warnings in recent days that world leaders need to do more to address the epidemic, which is most prominent in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The outbreak of Ebola, transmitted through contact with infected bodily fluids, has sparked alarm throughout the region but also further afield, with scientists scrambling to come up with treatment.

"As of this week, we are reporting 3,500 cases confirmed in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and more than 1,900 deaths -- and the outbreak is rising," WHO chief Margaret Chan told reporters in Washington.

The latest toll represents a significant increase from the 1,552 deaths and 3,069 cases reported by the Geneva-based organization just days ago.

The number of deaths also is higher than the total fatalities in all previous outbreaks combined.

Chan said she hoped that the global response to the health crisis would soon bear fruit, especially in the hardest-hit countries.

"With this international response, coordinated response, the money is coming, the technical experts are coming, so we hope to stop the transmission in six to nine months," Chan said.

Her agency has previously said at least $490 million (373 million euros) would be needed to bring the outbreak under control, by which time over 20,000 people could be affected.

But David Nabarro, the senior UN system coordinator on Ebola, said that total costs could rise even higher.

"It will cost at least 600 million dollars -- maybe a lot more -- to get the necessary support to the countries, to get the situation under control," Nabarro told reporters in Washington.

Tight timeline

Chan said that in countries with "very intense transmission" -- Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia -- "we would like to reverse the trend in three months."

She added for countries with "localized transmission" such as Senegal -- where an isolated case has been reported -- and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the WHO "would like to stop all transmission within eight weeks."

So far, more than 30 people have died in a separate outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nigeria reported a seventh death on Wednesday.

The outbreak in west Africa has sparked travel restrictions, which virologists say could make the situation worse, limiting medical and food supplies and keeping out much-needed doctors.

The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) launched an emergency operation on Tuesday to get 65,000 tonnes of food to 1.3 million people in the worst-hit areas.

'Number one priority'

For Nabarro, one of the main challenges is to get all those needed to help curb the spread of Ebola back to work in affected countries. In order for that to happen, equipment and money are needed.

"This is the number one priority and we hope to create the conditions within the next few weeks," he said.

On Tuesday, international medical agency Doctors Without Borders said the world was "losing the battle" to contain Ebola.

The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, said urgent action was needed.

"We need action now to scale up the response. We know how to stop Ebola. The challenge is to scale it up to the massive levels needed to stop this outbreak," Frieden said.

"This is really the first epidemic of Ebola the world has ever known."

'Dark days'

In the United States on Wednesday, Ebola survivor Nancy Writebol, who contracted the virus while working as a missionary in Liberia, thanked God for her recovery but admitted she had known "dark days."

"There were many mornings I woke up and thought I'm alive and there were many times when I thought I don't think I'm going to make it anymore," Writebol told a news conference in North Carolina.

Fellow missionary Dr Kent Brantly has been treated in the United States and released. Another US doctor working in Liberia, Rick Sacra, has been diagnosed with Ebola.

A British nurse infected while working in Sierra Leone was discharged from a London hospital on Wednesday following treatment with the experimental drug ZMapp.

"I was very lucky," said William Pooley, 29, who had been working as a volunteer in one of the worst-hit areas and was flown out of Africa on a specially-equipped British military plane.

http://www.mysinchew.com/node/101454

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:10 pm 
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At least 600 million USD needed to stem Ebola outbreak in West Africa: WHO chief
English.news.cn 2014-09-04 05:25:32 More
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa is "racing ahead" of efforts to control it and at least 600 million U.S. dollars is needed to get the unprecedented epidemic under control, UN health officials said Wednesday.

"This Ebola epidemic is the largest, most severe, and most complex we have ever seen in the nearly 40-year history of this disease," Margaret Chan, General-Director of World Health Organization, told a press conference in Washington.

The outbreaks are racing ahead of the control efforts in West African countries, Chan said, adding that as of this week there have been about 3,500 confirmed or probable Ebola cases and more than 1,900 deaths from the deadly disease.

David Nabarro, Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola, estimated that at least 600 million U.S. dollars is needed to get the necessary support to the countries to get the outbreak under control.

Nabarro warned of "a serious economic downturn" in the affected West African nations as a result of Ebola outbreak, which would complicate international efforts to contain the disease.

At the press conference, WHO officials said they are working with commercial airlines to bring their services back to Ebola- stricken countries as cancellation of flights are hurting international efforts to contain the outbreak.

Chan also emphasized that it is uncalled-for to refer to Ebola epidemic as an "African disease," warning that this stigmatization makes the coordinated global response much more difficult.

"It has become a global threat and we require urgent action," said Chan, adding that countries including the U.S., Britain, China, Canada, South Africa, Switzerland, France, and Kuwait have provided support to combat the outbreak.

Chan told Xinhua that she would like to thank Chinese government for deploying medical teams and provide necessary supplies to the Ebola-affected countries.

"I am happy to hear that the government is not retreating ...( and Chinese health workers) stay and continue to provide service," Chan said.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world ... 618725.htm

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