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Ebola outbreak: Drastic action needed to halt worst outbreak


(Reuters) - An outbreak that began in Guinea has turned into a cross-border crisis that could spread to more countries, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, calling for drastic action to halt the deadly epidemic.

Despite efforts by national health authorities and international aid organizations to contain its spread, the WHO has recorded 635 infections, including 399 deaths, in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since the outbreak began in February.

The crisis is already the deadliest outbreak since Ebola first emerged in central Africa in 1976, and the number of infections continues to rise.

"This is no longer a country specific outbreak but a sub-regional crisis that requires firm action by governments and partners," Luis Sambo, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said in a statement.

"WHO is gravely concerned by the on-going cross-border transmission into neighboring countries as well as the potential for further international spread," he said.

In response to the worsening crisis, the WHO said it will convene a special meeting of health ministers from 11 countries in Accra, Ghana on July 2 and 3 to develop a comprehensive inter-country response plan.

Ebola - with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent, no vaccine and no known cure - has not previously occurred in the West Africa region. People there have become frightened of health facilities, blaming them for importing and spreading the virus.

The Ebola virus initially causes raging fever, headaches, muscle pain, conjunctivitis and weakness, before moving into more severe phases with vomiting, diarrhoea and internal and external haemorrhaging.

"There is an urgent need to intensify response efforts; to promote cross-border collaboration and information sharing of suspected cases and contacts...and to mobilise all sectors of the community," Sambo said. "This is the only way that the outbreak will be effectively addressed."

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said this week that a lack of understanding has meant people continue to prepare corpses and attend funerals of victims, leaving them vulnerable to a disease transmitted by touching victims or via bodily fluids.

MSF accused civil society groups, governments and religious authorities of failing to acknowledge the scale of the epidemic, resulting in few prominent figures promoting the fight against the disease.

Join the discussion

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ducksinarow62 June 26 2014 at 9:57 AM

are any govenrmental agencies considering prohibiting people from entering the US who have been in that region?

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10 replies
stock market June 26 2014 at 10:16 AM

I just heard that several diseases are coming through our southern borders with all the illegal children and adults.

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13 replies
coopdabomb June 26 2014 at 12:54 PM

The U.S. has it's own problems to deal with. We have the black plague in the white house...

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2 replies
stephen.sybert coopdabomb June 26 2014 at 2:57 PM

Another immature comment from the Fox educated. feel better sonny?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
coopdabomb stephen.sybert June 26 2014 at 4:53 PM

I will take Fox over msnbc any day. Don't forget to lean forward

Flag +1 rate up
ExplorerFl stephen.sybert June 26 2014 at 9:32 PM

So, who educated you? Or are you self educated? Either way, you're screwed.

Flag 0 rate up
miltrand7 coopdabomb June 26 2014 at 3:43 PM

Yes, and we have idiots out here with us like you.

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1 reply
coopdabomb miltrand7 June 26 2014 at 4:54 PM

If "us" is a lib. I am in the idiots club

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GH June 26 2014 at 11:45 AM

Disease - one of the main reasons for Border enforcement - and a looming health crisis is right around the corner in America because Obama is leeting thousands in illegally. Our children are at risk because of Obama's political agenda.

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6 replies
adumar4 June 26 2014 at 12:11 PM


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wtrfrd June 26 2014 at 1:14 PM

A new deadly gift coming to your neighborhood soon....direct from the same continent that brought you HIV - AIDS. !!!!
Say hello to EBOLA ! Available FREE to all. White , Black, Brown, Red , Yellow... does not discriminate against race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or creed. Don't miss out be the first to get it... rush to any of our porous borders and welcome the unwashed, unscreened, free of any preventive inoculations, new illegal arrivals... bring your kids.... be the first to bring these diseases home to your friends and families. I'd say hurry on down but no need to....in time it will find it's way into your kids schools. Epidemics... the gift that just keeps giving.

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1 reply
cayce58 wtrfrd June 26 2014 at 8:48 PM

Edward Hooper "The River" 10 years of research, 650 pages of text Middle 1950s the Wistar Inst. of Philly inoculated almost a million Central Africans with an experimental oral polio vaccine. Seed batches were flown from Philly and unlike today, it was grown on site on monkey kidneys. Hooper found African workers who said they minced Chimp Kidneys, the source of Type I AIDs. 6 months after the inoculations, the first AID case in history walked into a Congo clinic. The AMA, afraid of people rejecting inoculations because of a problem solved, insists that mutation rates point to a crossover date around 1905. But, that assumes a 1 patient crossover. There could have been any number of AIDs patients created by the inoculations.

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Intense Insanity June 26 2014 at 12:06 PM

I'm about sick of these third-world countries being a high-risk for killing off the worlds population of people.

It's no wonder these diseases are found over there because they live in totally inhumane conditions and filth like savage animals.

The United States should restrict any/all travel to and from those regions of the world and then quarantine anyone wanting to enter our country until an "all clear" bill of health has been given.

Major inconvenience, yeah but just imagine how inconvenient it will be when Americans start dying by the thousands because we didn't inconvenient a few!!

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6 replies
tmiller001 June 26 2014 at 12:42 PM

God's way of thinning the heard!

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4 replies
robinincali June 26 2014 at 10:12 AM

Man maketh... god taketh... God is thinning the herd. All you religious freaks need not say anything.

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3 replies
Randall Flagg June 26 2014 at 9:59 AM

Uh oh, looks like the world needs to bail out Africa again?

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1 reply
MICHAEL Randall Flagg June 26 2014 at 10:54 AM

your name is too funny. you responsible for this?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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