WHO Orders Global Response as Ebola Death Toll Climbs to 2,500

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The Ebola virus outbreak is “unparalleled in modern times,” the World Health Organization said Tuesday, announcing a "global response coalition" as the death toll in West Africa climbed towards 2,500 with 5,000 others infected.

"The gravity is the situation is difficult to get across,” said Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General of the WHO. The response coalition will be led by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

"We must prevent the collapse of the health systems in the affected countries," said Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency. "The food security situation in some parts of the affected countries is of grave concern." President Barack Obama was due to announce a major military-led surge in U.S. aid to fight the outbreak later Tuesday, with as many as 3,000 troops to help organize, train new health care workers and build treatment clinics.

Aylward said a faster response was needed to keep the numbers infected within the "tens of thousands."



- Alastair Jamieson