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Ebola outbreaks


Fears that the west African Ebola outbreak could spread to Europe grew on Wednesday, with the EU allocating extra spending and a leading medical charity warning the epidemic was out of control.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned the crisis gripping Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone would only get worse and could not rule out it spreading to other countries.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has met global health officials on implementing measures to halt the spread of the disease, as the pan-African airline ASKY suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Meanwhile the European Union allocated an extra two million euros ($2.7 million) to fight the outbreak, bringing total EU funding to 3.9 million euros. "The level of contamination on the ground is extremely worrying and we need to scale up our action before many more lives are lost," said  EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.

In Britain, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond chaired a meeting of the government's COBRA crisis management committee to assess the situation. Prime Minister David Cameron "does regard it as a very serious threat", Hammond told Sky News television.

Since March, there have been 1,201 cases of Ebola and 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ebola can kill victims within days, causing severe fever and muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, organ failure. — AFP

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