Via The Globe and Mail, a Reuters report: Nigeria declares Ebola emergency; WHO says outbreak 'will get worse'. Excerpt:
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan declared a national state of emergency on Friday over the Ebola outbreak in Africa’s most populous country as the World Health Organization said West Africa's crisis is likely to get worse in the coming months.
Jonathan approved 1.9 billion naira ($11.6-million U.S.) of emergency funds to contain the virus. Nigeria has confirmed seven cases of Ebola since a man fell sick on arrival from Liberia, two of whom have died.
The world’s worst Ebola outbreak has already affected Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, is likely to get worse in the coming months. “The likelihood is that things will get worse before they get better,” Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s head of health security, told reporters in Geneva on Friday as the agency declared the outbreak an international emergency. “We are fully prepared for the outbreak to be at a high level for a number of months.”
The WHO announced Friday that the outbreak's death toll has reach 961, with 68 new cases and 29 new deaths reported by Aug. 6 in the four affected countries: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
The WHO said the possible consequences of a further international spread of the outbreak were “particularly serious” in view of the virulence of the disease.
“A co-ordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola,” the WHO said in a statement after a two-day meeting of its emergency committee on Ebola. The declaration of an international emergency will have the effect of raising the level of vigilance for transmission of the virus.
The agency added that while all states with Ebola transmission should declare a national emergency, there should be no general ban on international travel or trade.
Fukuda stressed that, with the right steps and measures to deal with infected people, Ebola’s spread could be stopped.
“This is not a mysterious disease. This is an infectious disease that can be contained,” he told reporters on a telephone briefing from the WHO’s Geneva headquarters. “It is not a virus that is spread through the air.”