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Britain must be prepared for Ebola outbreak to worsen — UK health secretary

October 13, 2014, 15:04 UTC+3 LONDON

The health secretary said the risk of Ebola to people living in the UK remains low

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© AP Photo/Jerome Delay

LONDON, October 13. /TASS/. Britain must be prepared for the Ebola outbreak to worsen, the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, told the local media on Monday.

He said the UK should be prepared bacause the situation with the Ebola virus may get a lot worse.

The health secretary said the risk of Ebola to people living in the UK remains low.

On Sunday, the UK announced national alert, where during eight hours people practised measures to isolate the infected. The exercises were analysed, and the results will be presented to the parliament.

According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,000 people and about 8,400 people are infected.

West African Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the Ebola worst-affected countries with an overwhelming number of cases - 4,024 dead and 8,376 infected.

The most serious Ebola situation is still in Liberia, with a death toll of 2,300 and more than 4,000 infected.

The Ebola situation in other African countries has not changed: eight people died from Ebola and 20 are infected in Nigeria, one case of virus transmission was registered in Senegal.

One patient died of Ebola in the United States and one infection case reported from Spain.

Ebola virus

The World Health Organization describes Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) as a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. The incubation period is 2 to 21 days. There is no known cure or vaccine for the disease. The only treatment offered is “supportive intensive care.” During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients.

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