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Ebola: 'Exponential' spread, WHO cost estimate, Obama responds

A street artist, Stephen Doe, paints an educational mural to inform people about the symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus in the Liberian capital Monrovia on Sept. 8.  Credit: AFP A street artist, Stephen Doe, paints an educational mural to inform people about the symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus in the Liberian capital Monrovia on Sept. 8.
Credit: AFP

The virus is spreading "exponentially" in Liberia, according to the World Health Organization, with thousands of new cases expected in the coming weeks. The organization is specifically concerned aboutmotorbike-taxis and regular taxis as "a hot source of potential virus transmission" because they are not disinfected. The virus is transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person showing symptoms of the disease.

Medical officials with the French arm of Doctors Without Borders called Sierra Leone's proposed three-day lockdown, during which residents would be restricted to their homes, could worsen the problem."It has been our experience that lockdowns and quarantines do not help control Ebola as they end up driving people underground and jeopardizing the trust between people and health providers," Medecins Sans Frontieres said in a statement.

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President Barack Obama said in an interview with "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the U.S. needs to do more to control the spread of the virus now, before it mutates and "becomes more easily transmittable." He said he'd be willing to commit "military assets" to help set up isolation units and provide security for health workers. Britain has already committed to sending military and humanitarian experts and setting up a health facility, expected to be operational within two months.

Metro profiled Dr. Rick Sacra, a Massachusetts doctor who became the third American to contract Ebola while helping victims in West Africa. He is undergoing treatment.

Last week, the World Health Organization estimated that it will take$600 million and many monthsto bring Ebola under control and forecast as many as 20,000 cases. According to Mother Jones, cutbacks in United Nations funding by wealthier nations is the reason the outbreak went undetected for so long and has continued to spread.

 
 
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