The Ebola virus that has shaken health officials amid fresh fears it is a bigger threat than was first thought.
Experts have been speaking out with the World Health Organisation saying the scale of the outbreak has been greatly underestimated. “Extraordinary measures,” are now needed.
“We have seen with the opening of new treatment centres, many more Ebola patients come forward, and so this has given rise to the belief that there are probably a lot of patients out there that we haven’t traced or contacted yet. Consequently, that is why WHO is saying that we are probably under-estimating the number of cases and deaths,” explained Gregory Hartl WHO spokesman.
Since the epidemic began in Guinea in February and then spread it’s reckoned 1,069 people have died. The medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres believes it will take at least six months to bring under control.
Joanne Liu is the International President of Medecins Sans Frontieres and has just returned from spending six months in the region.
“I really had the feeling that it is a wartime, in terms of fear, general fear, all over where you are, nobody not understanding what’s going on,” she told reporters.
Key to halting the spread, says MSF is stabilising Liberia. The charity has also called for a strengthened international co-ordination to fight the virus led by the World Health Organisation who it criticised for only declaring a public health emergency on August 8.