World Health Organization calls Ebola world health emergency
Army roadblocks in Liberia, to stop Ebola from spreading. With the death toll approaching one thousand across West Africa, the World health Organization says the Ebola epidemic is now an international public emergency. The W.H.O.'s Director General Maregaret Chan: SOUNDBITE) (English) WHO DIRECTOR GENERAL DR MARGARET CHAN SAYING: "The committee's decision was unanimous. Its advice to me acknowledges the serious and unusual nature of the outbreak and the potential for further international spread." The countries most seriously affected, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, are struggling to contain the epidemic. Quarantines are in place in all three countries. Still, Ebola continues to spread. But the W.H.O. says -- with international vigilance -- the crisis can be overcome. Head of Health Security Keiji Fukuda says patient isolation to prevent transmission, is crucial. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WHO HEAD OF HEALTH SECURITY KEIJI FUKUDA SAYING: "It is an infectious disease which can be contained. Let me underscore that: this is an infectious disease which can be contained. It is not mysterious. This is something which can be stopped. Ebola has no proven cure and there is no vaccine to prevent infection. But declaring it an international emergency could have the effect of raising the level of vigilance. The W.H.O. believes that heightened global awareness, and a focus on containment, will be key to ending the crisis.