Ebola Crisis: Virus Spreading Too Fast, Says WHO
She told a summit of regional leaders that failure to contain Ebola could be ‘catastrophic’ in terms of lives lost.
But she said the virus, which has claimed 729 lives in four West African countries since February, could be stopped if well managed.
Ebola kills up to 90% of those infected.
It spreads by contact with infected blood, bodily fluids, organs – or contaminated environments. Patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.
Initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external haemorrhaging from areas like eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure.
Dr Chan was meeting the leaders of the worst-affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – to launch a new $100m (£59m; 75m euro) Ebola response plan.
The plan includes funding the deployment of hundreds more health care workers to affected countries.
Ebola since 1976
‘This meeting must mark a turning point in the outbreak response,’ Dr Chan said at the summit in Guinea’s capital, Conakry.
‘Cases are occurring in rural areas which are difficult to access, but also in densely populated capital cities,’ she said, explaining that the outbreak was the world’s deadliest and largest in terms of geographical areas.
Ebola virus disease (EVD)
Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
Fatality rate can reach 90%
Incubation period is two to 21 days
There is no vaccine or cure
Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
Fruit bats are considered to be virus’ natural host.
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