Updated 06:26 AM EST, Sun, Dec 05, 2021

Ebola Outbreak 2014: News & Updates, World Health Organization Says Entire World Is at Risk; Plus Prevention Tips

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On Friday the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed the Ebola virus an international threat. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has already heightened the awareness about Ebola. There are two Americans recovering from the disease after contracting it on health care missions in West Africa.

Nearly 1,000 people have already died from the current Ebola outbreak.

"The WHO chief, Dr. Margaret Chan, said the announcement is 'a clear call for international solidarity' although she acknowledged that many countries would probably not have any Ebola cases," reports FOX News. There is no known cure for the disease, but health officials are discussing clinical trials for an experimental serum, reports say.

"Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own," Chan said at a news conference in Geneva. "I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible."

"In the United States, the CDC has already elevated its Ebola response to the highest level and have recommended against traveling to West Africa. On Thursday, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden told a Congressional hearing that the current outbreak is set to sicken more people than all previous outbreaks of the disease combined," the website reports.

"I don't know what the advantage is of declaring an international emergency," said Dr. David Heymann, who directed WHO's response to the SARS outbreak. "This could bring in more foreign aid but we don't know that yet," he said.

EBOLA VIRUS PREVENTION TIPS

First, avoid any travel to West African countries such as Liberia or Guinea, where the virus is rampant. Avoid contact with anyone or bodies of victims of the disease.

As the WHO reports, "If an outbreak is suspected, the premises should be quarantined immediately. Culling of infected animals, with close supervision of burial or incineration of carcasses, may be necessary to reduce the risk of animal-to-human transmission. Restricting or banning the movement of animals from infected farms to other areas can reduce the spread of the disease."

"When in close contact (within 1 metre) of patients with EBV, health care workers should wear face protection (a face shield or a medical mask and goggles), a clean, non-sterile long-sleeved gown, and gloves (sterile gloves for some procedures). Laboratory workers are also at risk. Samples taken from suspected human and animal Ebola cases for diagnosis should be handled by trained staff and processed in suitably equipped laboratories."

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