Ebola out of control
18 September, 2014, 12:00 am
ATLANTA – US President Barack Obama has issued a global call to action to fight West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, warning the deadly outbreak is unprecedented and “spiralling out of control”, threatening hundreds of thousands of people.
Speaking as he unveiled a major new US initiative which will see 3000 US military personnel deployed to West Africa to combat the growing health crisis, Mr Obama said the outbreak was spreading “exponentially”.
“Here’s the hard truth. In West Africa, Ebola is now an epidemic of the likes that we have not seen before,” Mr Obama said.
“It’s spiralling out of control. It is getting worse. It’s spreading faster and exponentially. Today, thousands of people in West Africa are infected. That number could rapidly grow to tens of thousands.
“And if the outbreak is not stopped now, we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people infected with profound political and economic and security implications for all of us.”
As well as the military deployment, the US will also set up a command and control centre in the capital of Liberia, the hardest-hit country, build new treatment centres and train health workers.
The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 2400 people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone this year.
The virus can fell its victims within days, causing severe fever and muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea — in some cases shutting down organs and causing unstoppable bleeding.
No licensed vaccine or treatment exists.
The United Nations Security Council is poised to adopt a resolution on Thursday exhorting countries to provide more field hospitals and urgent aid to the crisis-stricken region.