Ebola outbreak 'one of most challenging ever faced'
The World Health Organisation says a West African Ebola virus outbreak could take two to four months to contain.PT0M45S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-36hud 620 349 April 11, 2014
Dakar, Senegal: International aid organisations have launched a series of emergency measures across west Africa in a bid to contain one of the worst ever outbreaks of the deadly Ebola virus threatening every country in the region.
The tropical bug is thought to have claimed more than 110 lives in Guinea and Liberia since January, with suspected cases reported in Mali and Sierra Leone and aid workers warning that vital hygiene products could run out.
The Geneva-based World Health Organisation on Thursday announced emergency training for 70 people who would fan out across the Guinean capital Conakry to track people who have had close contact with Ebola patients.
A view of gloves and boots used by medical staff, drying in the sun, at a centre for victims of the Ebola virus in Guinea. Photo: AFP
The UN agency is also setting up a special alert and response operation centre within the Guinean ministry of health in order to handle all matters relating to the Ebola scare.
The World Health Organisation also said it was training staff at Guinea's Donka national teaching hospital and would be expanding that program to other health facilities in the coming days.
The organisation has described west Africa's first Ebola outbreak among humans as one of the most challenging since the virus emerged in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is also one of the most deadly, with 157 people infected and 101 deaths in Guinea alone.
The outbreak began in the impoverished country's southern forests, but has spread to Conakry, a sprawling port city on the Atlantic coast and home to 2 million people.
In neighbouring Liberia, there have been 21 cases, including 10 deaths.
While the World Health Organisation has not recommended any trade or travel restrictions, the region is braced against the epidemic, with Senegal closing its border with Guinea.