Crisis talks held as Ebola death toll soars

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
By Paul Martin
02 Jul 2014

Ministers from 11 African nations hold crisis meeting in Accra, Ghana as Ebola death toll continues to rise.

Health ministers from 11 African countries are meeting in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, on Wednesday to plan “drastic action” against the worst Ebola outbreak in history as dozens of new cases continue to emerge.

There have been 759 confirmed or suspected cases of the haemorrhagic fever in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday, with now 467 people known to have died.

The new death toll represented a rise of 129 – or 38 percent – since the UN agency’s last update given just a week ago.

“This makes the ongoing Ebola outbreak the largest in terms of the number of cases and deaths as well as geographical spread,” WHO said in a statement announcing a two-day conference in Ghana.

The United Nations reassured west African nations on Wednesday that the world’s deadliest-ever Ebola epidemic could be stopped in its tracks, telling the region’s health ministers: “We can handle this.”

“This is not a unique situation – we have faced it many times – so I’m quite confident that we can handle this,” Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general for health security at the WHO,

“This is, however, the most complicated Ebola outbreak ever because it is spreading so fast in both urban and rural areas.”

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