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Latest Ebola News: World Bank allocates $200 mn emergency fund to battle Ebola outbreak

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : August 5, 2014 10:17 AM IST

ebola-virusThree African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone that had worsening Ebola outbreak will receive $200 million emergency funding by the World Bank.

In a statement, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim mentioned that the decision of new emergency financing was taken in response to a call from two of the affected African countries and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for providing immediate assistance to control the outbreak, Xinhua reported.

The announcement was made Monday, on the first day of the US-Africa Summit in Washington, where Kim said that the financial support would take care of necessary medical supplies, salaries of medical staff and other essentials for stabilising the health system in the affected regions and to financially support the victims of the epidemic. 'The funding would also be invested to build up the region's disease surveillance and laboratory networks to guard against future epidemic outbreaks, he added.

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Kim urged the international community to act fast to contain and stop this Ebola outbreak, which has killed at least 887 this year. 'I am very worried that many more lives are at risk unless we can stop this Ebola epidemic in its tracks,' Kim said. 'I have been monitoring its deadly impact around the clock and am deeply saddened at how it has ravaged health workers, families and communities, disrupted normal life, and has led to a breakdown of already weak health systems in the three countries.' (Read: Top doctor in Sierra Leone dies of ebola virus)

An initial assessment for Guinea projects a full percentage point fall in economic growth from 4.5 percent to 3.5 percent, the bank said. Also at the summit, US health officials, including Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden, met with President of Guinea Alpha Conde, and senior officials from Liberia and Sierra Leone about the Ebola outbreak, the US State Department said in a statement. (Read:Ebola bug's secret mechanism revealed)

'The group identified national and regional priorities and held intensive discussions on the types of assistance needed to mount an effective response,' the State Department said. 'Secretary Burwell and Director Frieden reiterated US engagement and support for efforts to control the outbreak and address the challenge.'

Earlier, the US government said it will send 50 disease control experts this month to West Africa to aid in containing the outbreak. (Read: Sierra Leone Ebola update: 46 dead, 163 confirmed cases)

What is Ebola virus?

The Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe condition caused by a virus from the Filoviridae family. Known to be a condition that is transmitted from animals to humans, this virus spreads through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or animal.

What are the symptoms?

The incubation period (or the time between when the actual infection takes place to the time when a person sees symptoms of this condition) for this disease is about one week. After this period a person will commonly see the signs that are considered as 'early symptoms'. According to Dr Ratan,Senior Consultant, Department of Internal medicine, Rockland Group of Hospitals, Delhi-NCR,early symptoms include fever, rashes, headache, nausea, vomiting and stomach pain. Apart from that a person may also experience symptoms like pain in the lower back, arthritis like pain all over the body, diarrhea and a sore throat.

Once the condition has progressed a person may notice symptoms like:

  • Bleeding from the mouth, ears, nose and ears.
  • Increased sensitivity to pain on the skin,
  • Genital swelling
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Rashes all over the body,
  • And reddening of the roof of the mouth.

With inputs from IANS

Photo source: Getty images

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