Sierra Leone deployed army troops and quarantined neighborhoods while Liberia closed schools and put state employees on leave as they stepped up efforts to contain a deadly Ebola outbreak, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
At the same time, the United Nations said it is planning a US$100 million campaign to stop the epidemic that has killed 729 people in western Africa, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to avoid non-essential travel to these countries and said it is sending experts to help in the UN effort.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said more than 1,300 people have been infected by the virus, including those who died.
But it is too early to say whether new efforts led by WHO will stem the outbreak although similar measures have quelled earlier outbreaks of the disease, the report said quoting experts.
Meanwhile, Nigerian officials said they have identified 12 hospital workers and two airport handlers at high risk of Ebola. The handlers helped a wheelchair-bound Ebola-stricken Liberian-American man off a plane arriving in Lagos last week. The workers helped treat him thinking he had malaria.
Nigerian officials are monitoring 69 other people for symptoms. Officials say they have not been able to track down all of the 48 passengers aboard the Lagos-bound flight, the report said.
The Ebola virus has an incubation period of two to 21 days. Its initial symptoms are severe fever, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding. It can kill victims within days.
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