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Africa leaders to launch US$100 mil. Ebola plan

CONAKRY, Guinea--The leaders of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia gathered in Conakry to organize the deployment of hundreds of medical personnel to help overstretched workers and facilities struggling with an epidemic which has now claimed more than 700 lives.

The plan will also bolster efforts to prevent and detect suspected cases, urge better border surveillance, and reinforce WHO's sub-regional outbreak coordination centre in Guinea.

The meeting came after Dubai's Emirates became the first global airline to announce it was suspending flights to the stricken area while the United States, Germany and France issued warnings against travel to the three African countries.

“It is like fighting a forest fire. If you leave behind even one burning ember, one case undetected, it could reignite the epidemic,” said Tom Frieden, the chief of the top U.S. public health body.

Meanwhile Nigeria quarantined two people who had “primary contact” with a man who died of Ebola in Lagos last week as West Africa battled to tame the outbreak.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are struggling to contain an epidemic that has infected more than 1,300 people since the start of the year, hit major cities and sparked alarm over its possible spread to other nations.

The WHO raised the death toll by 57 to 729 on Thursday, announcing that 122 new cases had been detected between Thursday and Sunday last week.

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Liberian soldiers in a medical truck, with papers on it reading “EBOLA MOST GO,” drive past as they patrol streets to prevent panic, as fears of the deadly Ebola virus spread in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Friday, Aug 1.

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