The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the spread of Ebola in West Africa an international health emergency.
WHO officials said a coordinated international response was essential to stop and reverse the spread of the virus.
The announcement came after experts convened a two-day emergency meeting in Switzerland.
So far more than 930 people have died from Ebola in West Africa this year.
The United Nations health agency said the outbreak was an “extraordinary event”.
This is not a mysterious disease. This is an infectious disease that can be contained”
Keiji Fukuda WHO
“The possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus, the intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, and the weak health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries,” it said in a statement.
What is this disease called Ebola?
Ebola starts with familiar flu-like symptoms: a mild fever, headache, muscle and joint pains.
But within days this can quickly descend into something more exotic and frightening: vomiting and diarrhoea, followed by bleeding from the gums, the nose and gastrointestinal tract.
Death comes in the form of either organ failure or low blood pressure caused by the extreme loss of fluids.
Such fear-inducing descriptions have been doing the rounds in the media lately.
However, this is not Ebola but rather Dengue Shock Syndrome, an extreme form of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease that struggles to make the news.
Ebola is without a doubt a truly horrible disease, but then there are many other bad ones that kill far more.