Ebola toll jumps to 467
as ministers mull response
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[July 02, 2014]
By Tom Miles
GENEVA (Reuters) - The
number of deaths attributed to an epidemic of Ebola
virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone stood at 467
by Monday, out of 759 known cases in total, the World
Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
The outbreak of the deadly disease is already the largest and
deadliest ever, according to the WHO, which previously put the death
toll at 399 as of June 23, out of 635 cases.
The 17 percent rise in deaths and 20 percent jump in cases in the
space of a week will add urgency to an emergency meeting of 11 West
African health ministers in Accra, Ghana on Wednesday and Thursday,
which aims to coordinate a regional response. (Full Story)
In response to the outbreak, Liberian authorities have on Tuesday
warned that anyone caught hiding suspected Ebola patients will be
prosecuted Some families, faith healers and traditional doctors were
reported to be removing patients from hospital for special prayers
and traditional medicine.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said in a statement that
the crisis has become a national public health emergency, urging
people to heed health guidelines.
"It is illegal under our public health law to expose the people to
health hazard such as Ebola," Sirleaf said in a statement seen by
Reuters on Tuesday.
"Let this warning go out, anyone found or reported to be holding
suspected Ebola cases in homes or prayer houses will be prosecuted
under the laws of Liberia," she said.
The outbreak in West Africa has left some of the world's poorest
states, with porous borders and weak health systems undermined by
war and misrule, grappling with one of the most lethal and
contagious diseases on the planet. (Full Story)
The WHO said three key factors were contributing to the spread of
the disease. One was the burial of victims in accordance with
cultural practices and traditional beliefs in rural communities.
Another was the dense population around the capital cities of Guinea
and Liberia. The third was commercial and social activity along the
borders of the three countries.
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"Containment of this outbreak requires a strong response in the
countries and especially along their shared border areas," the
The WHO figures include confirmed, probable and suspected cases.
<For a map of the region affected by Ebola, please click - http://link.reuters.com/fyj32w>
(Additional reporting by Alphonso Toweh in Monrovia,; Editing by
Stephanie Nebehay, Larry King)
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