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The unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa requires a $1 billion response to keep its spread within the “tens of thousands” of cases, United Nations officials said on Tuesday.
The virus has killed 2,461 people, half of the 4,985 infected by the virus, and the toll has doubled in the last month, World Health Organization Assistant Director General Bruce Aylward said.
“Quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, this health crisis we’re facing is unparalleled in modern times,” Aylward told a news conference in Geneva. “We don’t know where the numbers are going on this.”
He said the WHO’s previous forecast that the number of cases could reach 20,000 no longer seemed a lot, but the number could be kept within the tens of thousands with “a much faster reponse”.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will launch a “global response coalition” in New York on Thursday, said Dr. David Nabarro, senior U.N. coordinator for Ebola.