The Ebola virus is spreading exponentially in Liberia, where many thousands of new cases are expected over the coming three weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. In a statement, the WHO said that motorbike-taxis and regular taxis are “a hot source of potential virus transmission” in Liberia where conventional Ebola control interventions “are not having an adequate impact.” The United Nations agency said that aid partners need to scale-up current efforts against Ebola by three-to-four fold in Liberia and elsewhere in West Africa. In Liberia it had killed 1,089 people among 1,871 cases, according to the WHO’s update of last Friday.
U.S. Military to be deployed: The US military will join the fight against fast-spreading Ebola in Africa, President Barack Obama said, warning it will be months before the epidemic slows. Mr. Obama said that in its current form, he did not believe Ebola would reach the United States, but warned the virus could mutate and become a much greater threat to those outside Africa. He said the deadly toll of the disease was being exacerbated because of the rudimentary public health infrastructure in Africa. “We’re going to have to get US military assets just to set up, for example, isolation units and equipment there, to provide security for public health workers surging from around the world,” Mr. Obama told NBC’s Meet the Press. “If we do that, then it’s still going to be months before this problem is controllable in Africa.” But he added: “If we don’t make that effort now, and this spreads not just through Africa but other parts of the world, there’s the prospect then that the virus mutates. It becomes more easily transmittable. And then it could be a serious danger to the United States,” he said. The death toll from the Ebola epidemic, which is spreading across West Africa, with Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone the worst hit, has topped 2,000, with nearly 4,000 people infected, according to the World Health Organization. EP
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