The outbreak of ebola in west Africa, which has already killed more than 4,000 men, women and children, is “the most severe acute health emergency in modern times” with new cases of the deadly virus increasing “exponentially” the World Health Organisation has warned. The virus, transmitted in blood and bodily fluids, attacks every organ in the body and death from multiple organ failure usually occurs within eight or nine days from emergence of the symptoms, which include respiratory problems, high temperatures, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Charity Save the Children has launched an ebola crisis appeal, asking for donations of at least £37, which they say can buy an ebola prevention kit that could save children’s lives.

The UK government has introduced medical screening for airline and Eurostar passengers, calls to the NHS non-emergency 111 number will be screened for possible ebola sufferers and 750 British troops have been sent to Sierra Leone.

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