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Stronger steps taken in West Africa to try to halt spread of Ebola virus


Stronger steps taken in West Africa to try to halt spread of Ebola virus

Exceptional measures are being implemented in Liberia amid warnings that the spread of Ebola in West Africa is spiralling out of control.

A disinfection and cleaning drive of government offices is underway. Schools have been closed and authorities are considering whether to quarantine affected communities and restrict population movements and public gatherings.

However relatives eager to give their loved ones a traditional funeral are often angry when authorities take charge, with the priority of preventing the virus spreading.

“It is not easy,” said health worker Peter Varpilah about burying the dead. “Sometimes… people take rocks to stone us…Some people don’t understand”

Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea have been worst hit but Nigeria has also been affected. Over 1,300 cases have been detected since February and 729 people have died.

World Health Organisation boss Margaret Chan told a meeting of regional presidents on Friday that if things deteriorate further there would be catastrophic consequences in lost lives and economic disruption.

A $100 crisis response fund being launched by the WHO aims to prevent that happening.

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