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Ebola moving too fast, doctors say

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A Sierra Leone government burial team disinfects a coffin at the Medecins Sans Frontieres facility in Kailahun.

A Sierra Leone government burial team disinfects a coffin at the Medecins Sans Frontieres facility in Kailahun. Photo: AFP

Geneva: The Ebola crisis in west Africa is outstripping the ability of aid organisations to stem the epidemic, the head of international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said Friday, likening it to a war.

"It is deteriorating faster, and moving faster, than we can respond to," Joanne Liu told reporters a day after returning from a 10-day mission to the hard-hit region.

"It is like war time. There is fear," she said.

Soldiers of UNOCI wear face masks to protect themselves from the Ebola virus as they patrol Kandopleu, Ivory Coast.

Soldiers of UNOCI wear face masks to protect themselves from the Ebola virus as they patrol Kandopleu, Ivory Coast. Photo: AFP

"It's moving, and advancing, but we have no clue how it's going. Like in a war time, we have a total collapse of infrastructure," she added.

The outbreak started at the beginning of this year in the forested border zone between Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and has also spread to Nigeria.

While Guinea had initially been the hotbed, the pace of the outbreak there has slowed, with concerns now focused on the other countries, notably Liberia.

A man walks near a screen displaying a message on Ebola outside the local headquarters of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The death toll from the world's worst Ebola outbreak is now 1069 from 1975 suspected cases.

A man walks near a screen displaying a message on Ebola outside the local headquarters of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The death toll from the world's worst Ebola outbreak is now 1069 from 1975 suspected cases. Photo: Reuters

"If we don't stabilise Liberia, we'll never stabilise the region," said Liu.

GRAPHIC: Ebola moving too fast to contain pic.twitter.com/60anw8MLhI

A trader looks out from her make shift shop, selling various ingredients for many local dishes, with chili peppers which have doubled in price during the time of the Ebola virus crisis in the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone. There is a ban on sale of bushmeat.

A trader looks out from her make shift shop, selling various ingredients for many local dishes, with chili peppers which have doubled in price during the time of the Ebola virus crisis in the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone. There is a ban on sale of bushmeat. Photo: AP

UN to feed up to one million affecred by Ebola outbreak: WFP

Dakar: The United Nations is to step up food aid to reach up to a million people affected by the Ebola outbreak wreaking havoc in west Africa, the World Food Programme (WFP) said Friday.

With states of emergency and severe restrictions on movement imposed in the three worst-hit countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the UN agency is bringing in its own aircraft to transport its personnel.

"The restrictions on movement in the most affected areas threatens food security," WFP spokeswoman Fabienne Pompey said. "Commerce is affected, people cannot get to their fields, and prices rise at the markets so the poorest have trouble feeding themselves."

The WFP is already feeding several thousand people in the worst affected areas, including the families of victims who have been quarantined, orphans and old people and hunters hit by the ban on the sale of bushmeat.

With several commercial carriers suspending flights to the region because of the epidemic, she said the agency is starting up a special line on Saturday with an aircraft based in the Guinean capital Conakry to link the capitals of the three countries.

She said two helicopters will also be brought in to help staff reach the most isolated areas.

AFP

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