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Ebola: aid stepped up

Friday, October 03, 2014 - 01:47

Extra help arrives to help contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa which has claimed more than 3, 300 lives. Paul Chapman reports

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These 165 Cuban doctors and nurses are the first to arrive in Sierra Leone to boost the fight against West Africa's Ebola outbreak. They've been training at a specialist tropical disease hospital in Havana. Now Cuban officials say they're ready for action. (SOUNDBITE)(English) AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY AND PLENIPOTENTIARY OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, JORGE F. LEFEBRE NICOLAS, SAYing: "We think this is very important because what happened here has unfortunately repercussions in the whole world so the battle is here." In Liberia, the country worst-hit by the disease, this plane's arrived with 100 tonnes of supplies and equipment. It's been sent by the humanitarian organisation Samaritan's Purse. (SOUNDBITE)(English) NATHAN GLANCY, SAMARITAN'S PURSE, SAYING: "We did pull out expat staff for about a month. This plane is the initial entry point for a large-scale Ebola response." The epidemic started in Guinea and has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Nigeria. It's killed at least 3, 300 people since March and is the worst outbreak on record. The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says work's underway to produce a vaccine but it's taking time. (SOUNDBITE)(English) DR ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR OF U.S NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, SAYING: "Probably by the end of the year we will have enough information to move on to a larger clinical trial which would take place in West Africa in order to prove that is actually effective or not and the only way to prove that is to test it in a setting where there is active disease going on." U.S. health officials say they're confident they can stop Ebola spreading in America after the first case on U.S. soil was diagnosed this week.

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Ebola: aid stepped up

Friday, October 03, 2014 - 01:47