WHO: Ebola outbreak poses risk to other countries

Ebola outbreak in West Africa constitutes an

Ebola outbreak in West Africa constitutes an "extraordinary event" that poses a health risk to other countries, WHO warns

ANKARA - The World Health Organization said Friday that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa constitutes an "extraordinary event" that poses a health risk to other countries.

"The possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus, the intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, and the weak health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries," the World Health Organization's emergency committee on Ebola said after its first meeting Friday.

More than 1,700 people have been infected with the disease in four West African countries -- Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria -- and an estimated 932 people have died since the latest outbreak in June, beginning from Liberia, according to WHO.

In addition, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) declared Thursday that it suspended meetings as part of measures to halt the spread of the virus.

Ebola is a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure and the disease has now spread to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

The WHO has warned the world's heads of state and health ministries that they "should declare a national emergency; personally address the nation to provide information on the situation, and advise on what steps are being taken to address the outbreak and the critical role of the community in ensuring its rapid control. Also provide immediate access to emergency financing to initiate and sustain response operations; and ensure all necessary measures are taken to mobilize and remunerate the necessary health care workforce."

The organization also drew attention to the suspension of international travel to prevent the spread of the virus.

Medical doctors say common symptoms of the tropical fever, which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, include high fever and headaches, followed by bleeding from openings in the body.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency