African nations and international health organisations have agreed a joint strategy to fight the deadliest ever Ebola outbreak.
The acute viral disease has killed at least 467 people in West Africa, and the concern now is to stop it spreading.
Most of the victims are in Guinea, where the outbreak began in January, but it has since spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Ebola is highly infectious, and kills up to 90 percent of those infected. To date there is no vaccine and no cure.
Speaking at the conclusion of an emergency meeting in Ghana, Liberia’s Deputy Health Minister, Bernice Dahn, said: ‘If we do not provide the support to stop the transmission … other countries will get infected as well, it will spread more in the countries that already have them and it will require more resources.’
And the World Health Organisation’s Regional Health Director for Africa, Dr Luis Sambo, added: ‘We estimate … that an amount of ten million dollars will be needed immediately to address the needs for the next six months.’
So how much of a threat does Ebola pose to Africa and the wider world? And should the global community be doing more to help find a cure?
Presenter: Mike Hanna
Dr. Michel Van Herp – An Epidemiologist with Doctors Without Borders and Ebola Specialist.
Dr. Ben Neuman – A Virologist at the University of Reading and Professor at the University’s School of Biological Sciences.
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