International community gathers at Ebola conference

Key figures from the international community have gathered in London to discuss how to stop the Ebola crisis ravaging west Africa.

Participating countries are discussing what can be done to slow the worst ever outbreak of the Ebola virus, which has so far claimed more than 3,000 lives, according to the World Health Organisation.

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'Defeating Ebola' conference kicks off in London

The Foreign Office has tweeted this picture of International Development Secretary Justine Greening alongside actor Idris Elba and the High Commissioner of Sierra Leone.

They are taking part in a one-day conference on 'Deafeating Ebola in Sierra Leone'.

The country has been particularly badly hit by the disease, which has already killed over 3,300 people worldwide.

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Sierra Leone President will not attend conference

President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, will not be attending an international conference on the Ebola crisis taking place in London according to the Foreign Office.

Unfortunately the President of Sierra Leone is now unable to attend the defeating Ebola conference. The chartered plane he was scheduled to fly on experienced significant technical difficulties prior to take off. We are currently exploring alternative ways for him to participate.

– Foreign Office spokesman

MPs: Aid cuts 'may have worsened Ebola crisis'

MPs say cuts in international support to Sierra Leone and Liberia, along with a failure to supervise aid spending, "may well be connected" to the spread of the Ebola virus.

The International Development Committee said the crisis "demonstrates the dangers of ignoring the least developed countries in the world".

Chairman Sir Malcolm Bruce said: "In the midst of this devastating epidemic...it is wrong for the UK to cut its support to these two countries by nearly a fifth."

The committee also pointed out that Liberia's finance ministry had failed to pass on large sums of EU aid money intended to improve the country's health system.

'Five new Ebola cases an hour' in Sierra Leone

A charity has warned that Ebola is spreading at a rate of five cases per hour in Sierra Leone, overwhelming the country's medical resources.

Save the Children said there were 765 new cases of the deadly virus in the west African state last week, with just 327 beds for the infected.

A volunteer medical team in Sierra Leone wearing special protective uniforms. Credit: TT News Agency/Press Association Images

There have now been over 7,000 cases of the disease worldwide, with 3,338 deaths.

The majority of the casualties have been in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

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US Ebola patient 'flew to Texas via Washington DC'

United Airlines believes the US Ebola patient flew on its airline from Brussels to Dallas-Fort Worth via Washington on September 20th, based on information provided to the airline by federal officials, a company spokeswoman said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there was "zero risk of transmission" on these two flights because the patient showed no symptoms at the time and therefore could not have been contagious, the spokeswoman added.

The patient, now hospitalized in Dallas, had flown originally from Ebola-ravaged Liberia.

"We are ensuring our employees have this information and suggest that any customers who have concerns contact the experts at the CDC for further information," the spokeswoman said.

US Ebola patient showed 'no signs' of virus in Liberia

A man being treated for Ebola in the United States after travelling to Texas from Liberia showed no signs or symptoms of the deadly virus when he left the country on 19th September the Liberian government has claimed.

Information Minister Lewis Brown said the West African country had put in place "stringent screening measures" that were preventing Ebola from spreading via air travel and the checks are being regularly reviewed.

What this incident demonstrates is the clear international dimension of this Ebola crisis. For months, the Liberian government has been stressing that this disease is not simply a Liberian or West African problem.

– Liberian government statement
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