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WHO Calls for Increased Action on Ebola
   2014-08-02 16:49:59    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Wang

The Director-General of the World Health Organization is urging the international community to do more to help African countries fight the deadly Ebola virus.

Margaret Chan made the comments in Guinea's capital Conakry after meeting the leaders of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia where the outbreak has killed more than 700 people.

CRI reporter Yin Xiuqi has the details.


Margaret Chan said the international community should support the countries affected by providing all necessary assistance to help stop the spread of the disease.

"You (the international community) must support the extraordinary measures and the determination of the three presidents and their countries by providing experts, laboratory capacity, protective clothing and other resources including financial resources to help them to stop Ebola outbreaks."

Dr. Chan underlined the seriousness of the battle against Ebola as the current outbreak is the largest since the disease first emerged in Africa nearly 40 years ago.

Health officials say the virus is transmitted only through direct contact with bodily fluids. Symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, and vomiting.

The fatality rate has been about 60 percent, and the scenes of patients bleeding from the eyes, mouth and ears has led many relatives to keep their sick family members at home instead.

Sierra Leone is now sending teams door-to-door in search of Ebola patients and others who have been exposed to the disease.

The business community in the country's capital Freetown is doing what they can to help the government raise awareness of the dangers of Ebola.

The jewelry sector, once known for its blood diamonds, is leading the fight against the killer disease.

Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma has said regional leaders are committed to strong measures to tackle the disease.

"We have agreed to take very strong and positive measures that will bring about the end of Ebola within the sub region. The efforts we have put in place are contained in the communique that we have released to the press."

In a communique after their talks, the leaders of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone agreed to deploy security forces to isolate the frontier regions where 70 percent of the over 1,300 cases have been detected.

They banned the transportation of anyone showings signs of disease across borders, and pledged to introduce strict controls at international airports to prevent the virus spreading outside the region.

Meanwhile, other countries are taking precautions to prevent the spread of Ebola.

US health officials have warned citizens not to travel to the three African countries as two American aid workers were infected with the virus in Africa.

The patients are being transferred back to the US for treatment. There was international alarm last week when a U.S. citizen died of Ebola in Nigeria - Africa's most populous country - after flying there from Liberia. Two people quarantined in Lagos after coming into contact with him have been released after they tested negative for the disease.

Chinese health authorities are also readying themselves with preparatory measures, particularly in viral testing and control, to prevent the virus from entering the country. A woman in Hong Kong earlier suspected to have contracted the virus has tested negative.

WHO chief Margaret Chan has made it clear that the Ebola virus can be stopped when managed properly.

"Ebola outbreaks, when managed properly, with the correct information for the citizens, they (citizens) come forward as early as possible for treatment, Ebola can be stopped."

The WHO has formally launched a 100 million US dollar response plan that includes deploying hundreds more health care workers to contain the disease.

For CRI, I'm Yin Xiuqi.



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