At a meeting in Guinea’s capital Conakry,WHO director-general Margaret Chan tells the presidents of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast that the virus could be stopped, but cultural practices such as traditional burials were a significant cause of its spread. She also says that governments may need to restrict population movements and public gatherings, and use the police and civil defence forces to guarantee the security of response teams. She also says more than 60 medical workers have died, hampering efforts to tackle the disease.
This outbreak is moving faster than our efforts to control it. If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives, severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries.