The World Health Organization says the current deadly Ebola outbreak that's ravaging communities in four West African nations could eventually infect some 20,000 people across ten nations. Mana Rabiee reports.
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Ebola continues to ravage communities in four West African countries, with well over 3,000 cases now reported.
But in Switzerland, the World Health Organization says the deadly epidemic may have already infected two to four times that many people, and could potentially infect over 20,000 before the outbreak is contained.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)'S ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR POLIO, EMERGENCIES AND COUNTRY COLLABORATION, BRUCE AYLWARD, SAYING:
"So 20,000 is the scale that has, I think, not ever been anticipated in terms of an Ebola outbreak."
The W-H-O says it's putting into place a half billion dollar operation to tackle Ebola, spread over six to nine months, and based on projections that the epidemic could spread to ten more nations.
This isn't a regional or a West African issue, it said.
It's a global health security issue that needs an international response.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) WHO'S ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR POLIO, EMERGENCIES AND COUNTRY COLLABORATION, BRUCE AYLWARD, SAYING:
"It is a big operation, we are talking, well over 12,000 people operating over multiple geographies in very difficult and high risk circumstances, it is expensive."
Thursday's announcement marks a major raising of the response by the W-H-O.
It had come under criticism by some agencies for reacting too slowly to the Ebola outbreak.
But the medical charity Doctors Without Borders says questions still remain...who will implements this half billion dollar plan?
By its account, none of the organizations in the most-affected areas have the right set up in place to respond on a scale big enough to really make an impact.
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