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West Africans flee Ebola, head to SA

12 October 2014, 17:15

Cape Town - As the world panics over the Ebola outbreak, West Africans are reportedly fleeing their countries in a bid to outrun the virus - someheaded overland for South Africa.

According to the Sunday Independent, this could place South Africa at considerable risk.

Johannesburg-based members of the immigrant communities from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, told the newspaper that there is a considerable number of people attempting to reach SA, most trying to reach it overland - a 5 000km trek.

One man said he alone knew of at least five people who were on their way.

The newspaper reports that it would just take one carrier to change the situation in SA - particularly in a community that is largely housed in the densely populated city centre of Johannesburg - an ideal breeding ground for a communicable virus such as Ebola.

Meanwhile, as reported by News24 on Saturday, the UN special envoy on Ebola says the number of cases is probably doubling every three to four weeks and the response needs to be 20 times greater than it was at the beginning of October.

David Nabarro warned the UN General Assembly on Friday that without the mass mobilisation of the world to support the affected countries in West Africa, "it will be impossible to get this disease quickly under control, and the world will have to live with the Ebola virus forever".

Nabarro said the UN knows what needs to be done to catch up to and overtake Ebola's rapid advance "and together we're going to do it".

"And our commitment to all of you is to achieve it within a matter of months - a few months," he said.

More than 4 000 people have died of the disease since the start of the outbreak, the worst to date.

- News24

Tags ebola

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