WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak 'International Public Health Emergency'

Liberian nurses take an Ebola victim body from a home on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, 08 August 2014. Photo by EPA/AHMED JALLANZO.

The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola outbreak an international public health emergency – its highest-level alert possible, Friday.

"The possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus," the UN health agency said in a statement, following a two day meeting in their headquarters in Geneva.

A total of 1,779 cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, including 961 deaths, have been reported after the outbreak of the disease in West Africa.

The current Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in March and later spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has declared the Ebola epidemic “a national emergency" and approved more than USD 11M to help contain it, the BBC reports.

Meanwhile, a patient at a hospital near Toronto, Canada has been isolated as a precautionary measure after showing symptoms similar to those characteristic of the Ebola virus, according to international media reports.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have already elevated their Ebola response to the highest level and have recommended against travelling to West Africa.

Continue reading on: