Friday, August 8, 2014

WHO: Ebola Outbreak Is a Public Health Emergency

PHOTO: A Nigerian port health official wears protective gear at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria, Aug. 6, 2014. 
A Nigerian port health official wears protective gear at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria, Aug. 6, 2014. 

The World Health Organization urged nations worldwide to donate money and resources to stop the spread of Ebola as it declared the outbreak in West Africa to be an international public health emergency.

The latest Ebola outbreak is the largest and longest ever recorded for the disease, which has a death rate of about 50 percent and has so far killed at least 961 people, according to the U.N. health agency. It emerged in Guinea in March and has since spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.

"Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own," WHO chief Dr. Margaret Chan told a news conference Friday in Geneva. "I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible."

She added that the world's "collective health security" depends on curbing the spread of the killer virus in West Africa, even as she acknowledged that many countries would probably not have any Ebola cases.

The Nigerian government declared a national state of emergency late Friday for Africa's most populous nation, saying two Ebola patients have died and seven other cases were confirmed. President Goodluck Jonathan approved spending $11.7 million to contain the disease and urged schools to extend a current holiday to give experts more time to assess the Ebola threat.

For the rest of the story: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/ebola-outbreak-public-health-emergency-24896098

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