With the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa killing over sixty percent of those it infects the World Health Organisation says the disease risks spreading fast.
The WHO, which meets today in special session in Geneva to discuss the killer virus, says the infection rate jumped twenty percent last week despite efforts to contain the deadly disease. 467 people have now died of the 759 known infected cases.
Liberia has confirmed cases to add to Sierra Leone and Guinea’s outbreaks, and there are fears people fleeing the virus may take it with them into Guinea-Bissau, Mali or Ivory Coast.
There are already many people who have escaped to a bigger city or over the border who have had no screening and may be carrying the germ. The WHO is calling for the strongest possible response from regional governments to control borders. Eleven West African health ministers meet to discuss strategy on Wednesday and Thursday.
Isata Sanoh ran away from Daru where the Ebola outbreak is acute. She says many have died there, including many of her family. A medical worker who cared for her dying mother then died herself. “Then the men who buried her died,” she adds.
The WHO adds other key factors affecting the spread of Ebola beyond border control are burial practices in rural communities,
and the dense populations around the capital cities of Guinea