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African Health Ministers Meet to Address Ebola Outbreak

  • VOA News

Ebola cases in West Africa, June 2014

Ebola cases in West Africa, June 2014

Health ministers from 11 African nations are meeting Wednesday in Ghana to discuss how they should respond to the deadliest ever outbreak of Ebola.

The World Health Organization is leading the two-day conference in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, after announcing that 467 people have now died from Ebola in West Africa this year.

Guinea has been the hardest hit with 303 deaths attributed to Ebola since April. The overall numbers are lower in Sierra Leone and Liberia, but both countries have reported a sharp increase in cases and deaths from the highly contagious disease in the past month.

The other countries taking part in the conference include Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The WHO is calling for a "strong response" to contain the outbreak, particularly in the area where Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia share a border.

Before this year, the deadliest Ebola outbreak was in 1976 in the DRC where 280 people died.

The often-fatal disease is spread between humans by direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids from an infected person. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for Ebola.