Sierra Leone today declared a public health emergency to tackle the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola and will call in security forces to quarantine areas of the deadly virus. President Ernest Bai Koroma said the measures resembled a tough anti-Ebola package announced by neighbouring Liberia last night. Koroma also announced he was cancelling a visit to Washington for a U.S.-Africa summit next week because of the crisis. The move came as world’s premier health charity issued a grave warning about the likely spread of the deadly Ebola virus – an epidemic it fears ‘can only get worse’. Doctors Without Borders (aka Médecins Sans Frontières [MSF]) says the threat of the disease spreading beyond western Africa, where it was first detected in Guinea in February, is frighteningly real and said it was ‘absolutely out of control’.
It was the death of a U.S. citizen in the Nigerian capital of Lagos on Friday, that has prompted fears the disease could be on the brink of spreading to the West. MSF director Bart Janssens told the newspaper Libre Belgique that the world has ‘never known such an epidemic’.