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Ebola virus: Your questions answered

In a Facebook Q&A on the Ebola virus for ITV News, an expert discussed risks, potential vaccines and what would happen if it came to the UK.

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WHO: Ebola outbreak of 'unprecedented scale'

Health experts urgently need to combat the Ebola outbreak, which is of an "unprecedented" scale, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

The WHO director-general has announced plans to meet with presidents of West African nations affected by the disease tomorrow, the group said in a statement.

A joint $100 million response plan was also announced to bring the outbreak under control.

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Ebola: 'Unlikely' to reach Europe says expert

A scientist has said the deadly Ebola virus is "unlikely to spread to Europe".

Professor Peter Piot, who helped discover the virus in the 1970s, said the likelihood the epidemic could spread in the UK was "very, very, very low".

This comes as border staff expressed concerns over what they should do if they suspected someone had Ebola.

Read: Staff 'concerned at lack of training on Ebola symptoms'

Border staff had expressed concerns over how to look for Ebola symptoms but leading scientist Professor Peter Piot has said the virus is "unlikely" to arrive in the UK.
Border staff had expressed concerns over how to look for Ebola symptoms but leading scientist Professor Peter Piot has said the virus is "unlikely" to arrive in the UK. Credit: PA

"When someone is extremely ill - that is when they are very infectious, but at that stage patients can hardly move - they are not mobile," he said.

"Here, because of our infection control and standards in hospitals, I think that the likelihood that would give rise to an epidemic is very, very, very low."

Staff 'concerned at lack of training on Ebola symptoms'

Border staff remain confused as to what they are meant to do if they suspect someone has Ebola, a union leader has said.

Public Health England has warned staff to be aware of the virus, but the general secretary of the Immigration Service Union said staff have not received any training or guidance on the issue.

"It appears Public Health England believe they have had some form of training in how to recognise symptoms of Ebola at the border and that simply isn't the case," Lucy Moreton told ITV News' Damon Green.

Read: Ministers 'acting early to keep the UK safe' from Ebola

Death toll from Ebola increases to 729

Some 729 people have died from the outbreak of Ebola, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

Fifty-seven deaths were reported between July 24 and 27 in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The news comes after Liberia's ambassador to the US warned that the crisis was "escalating by the hour".

Nigeria has also identified 59 people who came into contact with a man who died in Lagos last week after travelling from Liberia, WHO said.

Ebola crisis in Liberia 'escalating by the hour'

The spread of Ebola in Liberia is "escalating by the hour", Liberia's ambassador to the US said.

Jeremiah Sulunteh said all Liberians were "really nervous" about the disease, which he said has caused 170 deaths in the country with 362 cases reported.

"It is alarming - our hearts are broken. Even as we speak 4.1 million Liberians are under attack by this virus," Mr Sulunteh said.

Liberia have closed most of their borders in a bid to contain the virus.

Mr Sulunteh said his country was "doing its best" to fight the disease, but support from the international community with medical supplies would be welcomed.

Read: Scientist says he would sit next to Ebola sufferer on Tube

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Scientist: I would sit next to Ebola sufferer on Tube

A scientist who helped discover the Ebola virus has said he would not be worried about sitting next to an infected person on the Tube.

Professor Peter Piot told the Times he was not concerned about the virus spreading to Britain as a major epidemic outside west Africa was unlikely.

PA Wire
Professor Peter Piot helped discover the Ebola virus in 1976. Credit: PA Wire

“I wouldn’t be worried to sit next to someone with Ebola virus on the Tube as long as they don’t vomit on you or something. This is an infection that requires very close contact,” the Belgian professor said.

Some 672 people have died across west Africa in the largest ever outbreak of Ebola, prompting concerns that Ebola could spread further.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said it was "most unlikely" that the disease could come to Britain, but said he was treating the outbreak as a "very serious threat".

Read: Ministers 'acting early to keep the UK safe' from Ebola

Sierra Leone declare health emergency over Ebola

The president of Sierra Leone has declared a public health emergency in an attempt to fight the worst ever outbreak of Ebola.

Security forces will be used to quarantine epicentres of the deadly virus, President Ernest Bai Koroma said.

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Medical staff in Sierra Leone have been battling to contain the virus. Credit: Reuters

He has also cancelled a trip to Washington for a US-Africa summit next week due to the crisis.

The tough measures being brought in are similar to those announced by Liberia on Wednesday.

Some 672 people have died from Ebola across Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organisation.

Read: Border staff 'unprepared' to deal with Ebola victims

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