British woman is first volunteer to test new Ebola vaccine

A former NHS nurse has become the first Briton to test a potentially life-saving new vaccine to tackle the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.

Ruth Atkins was injected with the experimental drug this morning at Oxford University.

If successful, it will be used to treat patients in West Africa where the worst ever outbreak has now killed more than 2,500 people.

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WHO: Over 20,000 could be infected with Ebola

More than 20,000 people could be infected by the current outbreak of the Ebola virus, the World Health Organisation said.

Health workers at an isolation camp in Guinea's Monrovia. Credit: Reuters

They said the actual number of cases in four West African nations could already be two to four times higher than the reported 3,069, as they issued a strategic plan to combat the outbreak.

They said: "The actual number of cases may be 2-4 fold higher than that currently reported."

They added that their road map "acknowledges that the aggregate case load of Ebola Virus Disease could exceed 20,000 over the course of this emergency."

They said: "Response activities must be adapted in areas of very intense transmission and particular attention must be given to stopping transmission in capital cities and major ports, thereby facilitating the larger response and relief effort."

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