Ebola Virus Patients Increase

Ebola Virus Patients Increase

Health ministers from 11 African countries are meeting in Accra, Ghana, in an attempt to "get a grip" on the deadly and worsening Ebola outbreak.

So far, 763 people have been infected with the virus - and 468 of these have died.

Most of the cases have been in Guinea where the outbreak started.

But it has since spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone and is now the biggest and most deadly Ebola outbreak the world has seen, say officials.

Health officials from those countries, as well as Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal, and Uganda will attend the meeting.

The World Health Organization says "drastic" action is needed to stamp out the virus and ensure it does not spread to other countries in the region.

"We're hoping to take decisions about how to enhance collaboration and responses [of these countries] so we can get a grip and halt this outbreak," said WHO spokesman Daniel Epstein

"We need a strong response, especially along the shared border areas where commercial and social activities continue between Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. That's unlikely to stop."

Dr Edmund Newman who is working with WHO at the heart of the epidemic talks to BBC about the challenges of helping people who are victims of the disease; he mentions the great distrust locals have of the foreign nationals that here to help them.

Dr. Newman stated that the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is working with the World Health Organization and the Guinea Ministry of Health. It has four isolation facilities in Guinea and more than 300 international and local staff.

He further added that "We are now dealing with an extraordinary situation so we need more resources to fight the epidemic and we need extra help to convince communities to change their attitudes towards the virus."

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