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Ebola moving faster than control efforts : WHO

Conakry, Aug 3 (): The head of the World Health Organization has told the presidents of West African countries affected by Ebola that the epidemic is moving faster than efforts to control it.

The Presidents from the affected nations met in the capital of Guinea on Friday. At the meet, the head of the World Health Organization warned that the outbreak of Ebola that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than the efforts to control the disease.

The director general of WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, said if this outbreak was spiralling out of control, it could spread to other nations, causing “tragic” loss of lives and severe economic disruption.

Chan is in Conakry, capital city of Guinea, where she met with the presidents of Liberia, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

WHO and the leaders of the West African nations are settling a $100 million plan to control Ebola from spreading. About 729 persons from four countries – Liberia, Nigeria, Guinea and Sierra Leone have died since the first case emerged in March; among the victims, more than 60 are health workers and in addition some international relief workers have also been infected.

The leaders have met in Conakry to organize the positioning of extra medical personnel as a part of USD 100 million emergency response to the epidemic. The emergency plans will also strengthen efforts to detect suspected cases, prevent the disease, urge better border scrutiny and reinforce the sub-regional outbreak coordination center of WHO in Guinea.

And as an immediate effort to help prevent the infection crossing more international borders through airline passengers, Nigeria has suspended direct airlifts to Sierra Leone and Liberia while officials have introduced temperature display at major airports to aid detect the sick travellers.

Ebola has no vaccine and no specific treatment, with a fatality rate of about 60 percent. It first emerged in 1976 and since then there have been two dozen outbreaks in Gabon, Congo, Uganda, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.