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Liberia closes border crossings as Ebola concerns grow

Liberia has closed numerous border crossings in a bid to contain the Ebola virus that has killed 660 people across west Africa.

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The Ebola virus has killed 660 people across west Africa. Credit: Reuters

The measures come as a second American citizen working in the country contracted the deadly virus, which has spread across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

"All borders of Liberia will be closed with the exception of major entry points," Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said.

"At these entry points, preventive and testing centres will be established, and stringent preventive measures to be announced will be scrupulously adhered to."

Read: Police guard Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone after 'cannibalistic' claims

RCGP: GP figures 'shocking indictment of service'

Figures showing the number of patients expected to be turned away by their GPs are a "shocking indictment" of the "overstretched" system, leading doctors have said.

Research by the Royal College of GPs claimed the number of times patients will be unable to see their doctor will pass the 50 million mark for the first time next year.

The RCGP said if current trends continue, then in 2015:

  • Patients in London will be unable to see or speak to a GP or nurse on 10.4 million occasions (increase from 9.3m in 2014)
  • Patients in Birmingham and the Black Country will be unable to see or speak to a GP or nurse on 3.2 million occasions (up from 2.9m)
  • Patients in Greater Manchester, will be unable to see or speak to a GP or nurse on 3.1 million occasions (up from 2.8m)
  • Patients in West Yorkshire will be unable to see or speak to a GP or nurse on 2.3 million occasions (up from 2.2m in 2013/14)
  • Patients in Merseyside will be unable to see or speak to a GP or nurse on 1.5 million occasions (up from 1.3m in 2014)

Read: GPs to 'turn away patients over 50 million times'

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GPs to 'turn away patients over 50 million times'

GP surgeries in England will turn away patients more than 50 million times next year as practices become increasingly overstretched, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has warned.

GP surgeries are becoming increasingly overstretched, medical professionals have warned.
GP surgeries are becoming increasingly overstretched, medical professionals have warned.

A lack of investment has brought the service to "its knees" as it struggles to meet patient demand, the professional medical body said.

Research of a recent patient survey predicted that patients may be turned away 51.3 million times next year.

Doctors' leaders said the figures were a "shocking indictment" of the system and warned the situation was only likely to get worse unless investment was increased.

Second American contracts Ebola in Liberia

A second American citizen working in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus according to a charity working in the country.

Nancy Writebol who tested positive for the Ebola virus pictured with her husband David.
Nancy Writebol, pictured with her husband David, has tested positive for the Ebola virus. Credit: Serving in Mission.

The victim was named as Nancy Writebol on the Samaritan's Purse International Relief website, who said that she was helping the team treating Ebola patients at the Case Management Center in Monrovia.

Samaritan's Purse have been working in the country with the Serving in Mission charity, where Writebol worked as a personnel manager, according to their website.

No details have been released on Writebol’s condition, but the organisation said she was married with two children.

An American doctor helping to treat Ebola in Liberia has also contracted the virus.

Read: American doctor contracts Ebola in Liberia

American doctor contracts Ebola in Liberia

An American doctor helping to treat Ebola in Liberia has contracted the virus.

Dr Kent Brantly, who works for the charity Samaritan's Purse, reportedly recognised his own symptoms and confined himself to an isolation ward, NBC News reported.

A spokeswoman for the charity said Dr Brantly's wife and two children had been living with him in Africa but are currently in the US.

The deadly illness has killed more than 660 people across west Africa and it has now spread to Nigeria after the death of a Liberian man in Lagos.

Read: Police guard Ebola clinic after 'cannibalistic' claims

Police guard Ebola clinic after 'cannibalistic' claims

Police are having to guard an Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone after allegations by a former nurse that the virus was invented to conceal "cannibalistic rituals" there.

Reuters
Medical staff are seen at the Ebola treatment centre in Kenema where security has increased. Credit: Reuters

Thousands gathered outside the country's main treatment centre in Kenema threatening to burn it down and remove the patients, after hearing the former nurse claim that the disease was "unreal and a gimmick aimed at carrying out cannibalistic rituals".

Officers fired tear gas to disperse the angry crowds, a regional police chief said.

The increased security comes after Nigeria placed all of its entry ports on "red alert" after a Liberian man died after arriving at Lagos airport last week, in the first case in the country.

At least 660 people have died from the illness across Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria.

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Excessive salt consumption 'a major killer'

Excessive salt consumption is a "major killer" and not enough is being done to tackle the problem, a senior local government official has said.

A new report from the Local Government Association accuses restaurants and pubs of "dragging their heels" on signing up to reducing the amount of salt in their meals.

Fish and chips were  among the foods cited as containing too much salt.
Fish and chips were among the foods cited as containing too much salt. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Councillor Katie Hall, chairwoman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board, said: "The recommended daily target is 6g of salt per person - yet one pub or restaurant meal can take you well over this.

She said the industry was "lagging a long way behind" and needed to "get on board and commit swiftly" to tackle the problem.

Ports into Nigeria placed on 'red alert' over Ebola

All ports of entry into Nigeria have been placed on "red alert" over the Ebola outbreak, health officials said, after a Liberian man died of the disease in Lagos.

"All ports of entry into Nigeria, including airports, seaports and land borders, are placed on red alert," Nigerian health minister Onyebuchi Chukwusaid said.

"Ministry of health specialists have been positioned in all entry points. Active surveillance has also been stepped up."

Mr Chukwusaid said an investigation was underway to see whether the 40-year-old Liberian national came into contact with anyone else.

Read: Ebola outbreak spreads to Nigeria as death toll rises to over 660

Ebola outbreak spreads to Nigeria as death toll rises

An outbreak of Ebola, which has left more than 660 people dead across west Africa, has now spread to Nigeria.

A Liberian man vomited on board an aeroplane bound for Nigeria and later died upon arrival in the country.

Reuters
Ebola has killed more than 660 people across west Africa. Credit: Reuters

The 40-year-old had recently lost his sister to the disease, reports suggested.

Nigerian health officials said all ports of entry into Nigeria had been placed on "red alert".

The disease has now infected at least 1,093 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and now Nigeria.

Read: Inside the clinic treating the biggest outbreak of Ebola ever recorded

Restaurants 'must sign up to salt reduction targets'

Restaurants and pubs have been urged to stop "dragging their heels" and sign up to salt reduction targets.

PA Wire
Councils claim some meals in restaurants and pubs contain up to 9g of salt. Credit: PA Wire

Councils said just one restaurant group, Jamie's Italian, and one fast food chain, Subway, had committed to the scheme since its launch five months ago.

The Department of Health voluntary targets aimed at cutting salt from the 10 most popular high street dishes including chips, burgers, pizzas and curries.

The Local Government Association claim some restaurant and pub meals contained up to 9g of salt despite current guidelines recommending adults consume no more than 6g of salt a day.

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