10 Sep 2014

Ebola outbreak 'spreads like wildfire'

4:25 pm on 10 September 2014

Liberia is facing a "serious threat" to its national existence as the deadly Ebola virus "spreads like wildfire" there, its defence minister says.

Brownie Samukai told the United Nations Security Council that the international response to the crisis was "less than robust".


People wash their hands with soap and bleach to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus. Photo: AFP

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that thousands more cases could occur in Liberia, which has been worst hit by the West Africa outbreak.

Some 2288 people have died from Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the BBC reports.

The WHO says half of these deaths occurred in the three weeks up to 6 September. In Nigeria, eight people have died out of a total 21 cases, while one case has been confirmed in Senegal, with no deaths.

Liberia's defence minister warned that the country's weak health system was already overwhelmed by the number of cases.

Mr Samukai told UN Security Council members that Liberia lacked "infrastructure, logistical capacity, professional expertise and financial resources to effectively address this disease".

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