Save The Children: Ebola outbreak out of control with five cases an hour

Leading charity Save the Children has warned that the rate increasing to five new Ebola cases an hour in Sierra Leone was evidence of health demands fast outstripping the supply.

An example pointed to was the 765 new cases of Ebola reported in the West African country where the outbreak currently rages, but only 327 beds available.

It is now the world worst outbreak of the virus, with 3,338 people dead and 7,178 confirmed cases mainly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Earlier this month, Britain had announced that it would build facilities to house 700 new beds in Sierra Leone but they will not be ready for weeks at the earliest, and at the latest months.

Also according to the charity, the true scale of the disease can go “massively unreported”, because of the “untold numbers of children dying anonymously at home or in the streets.”

Rob MacGillivray, the charity’s country director in Sierra Leone said: “We are facing the frightening prospect of an epidemic which is spreading like wildfire across Sierra Leone, with the number of new cases doubling every three weeks.”

There are safety trials for two experimental vaccines currently underway in the UK and US according to the WHO, with hopes that it will be expanded to 10 sites in Africa, Europe and North America in the following weeks. By early next year, the experimental vaccines are expected to be put to use in West Africa.

The Ebola Donors Conference in London is to be hosted on Thursday by both the British and Sierra Leone governments, with the main agenda being to discuss a suitable global response to the epidemic.

It will be chaired by UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, however a BBC correspondent has said that Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma may not attend, due to a fault with the British plane sent to pick him up.

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