Ebola epidemic: WHO declares emergency

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IOL pic aug7 Sierra Leone West Africa Ebola5 Associated Press A health worker sprays a man's hands with chlorinated water as part of an Ebola prevention campaign in the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone, on August 6, 2014. Picture: Michael Duff

London - West Africa's raging epidemic of Ebola virus is an “extraordinary event” and now constitutes an international health risk, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.

The Geneva-based United Nations health agency said the possible consequences of further international spread of the outbreak, which has killed almost 1 000 people in four West African countries, are “particularly serious” in view of the virulence of the virus.

“A co-ordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola,” the WHO said in a statement after a two-day meeting of its emergency committee on Ebola. - Reuters

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