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Ebola now global emergency

Monday August 11th, 2014

The Ebola crisis in West Africa has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

A WHO emergency summit warned it was a public health risk to other states and an "extraordinary event."

WHO warned that any further international spread would have particularly serious consequences because of the virulence of the disease.

And it called for a coordinated global response.

In Britain health officials said they still believed the risk of an infected person arriving in the country was low.

Dr Brian McCloskey, of Public Health England, said: "Though it is possible a case could be identified in the UK in a person returning from an affected country, this is unlikely. Even if a case were identified, there is minimal risk of it spreading across the general population as UK hospitals are well prepared to handle infectious diseases.

"Ebola causes far more harm in countries with less developed healthcare facilities and public health capacity."

He added: "The measures recommended by WHO are needed to ensure everything that can be done to control the outbreak, is being done.

"We will continue to support global efforts to arrest the impact of Ebola in West Africa, including deploying Public Health England staff to the affected areas to provide strategic and public health support."

Tags: Africa | Flu & Viruses | World Health

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