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Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has signed a $5 million deal for an Ebola vaccine, to protect against future outbreaks of the deadly disease.

The deal commits pharmaceutical company Merck to keeping 300,000 vaccines ready for emergency use or further clinical trials.

It will also submit an application to license the vaccine by the end of 2017, which would the next step towards enabling Gavi to prepare a global stockpile.

More than 11,000 people have died in the latest Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The sheer scale of the outbreak – the largest in history – led to an unprecedented push on vaccines, which condensed a decade’s work into less than a year.

Merck has led trials of the VSV-EBOV vaccine – which combines a fragment of the Ebola virus with another safer virus in order to train the immune system to beat Ebola.Gavi Ebola vaccine

Early evidence from studies in West Africa suggest it may give 100% protection, although more data is still being collected.

Gavi CEO Dr. Seth Berkley said: “The suffering caused by the Ebola crisis was a wake-up call to many in the global health community.

“New threats require smart solutions, and our innovative financing agreement with Merck will ensure that we are ahead of the curve for future Ebola outbreaks.”

Gavi is an alliance of public bodies and companies committed to saving lives through vaccination.

It announced the advanced-purchase commitment at the World Economic Forum held at Davos in the Swiss Alps.

The $5 million paid to Merck will be offset against any vaccines Gavi orders once the shot is licensed.

The World Health Organization declared West Africa Ebola-free last week, after all of the affected countries had gone 42 days without a case.

However, just hours later, a death in Sierra Leone was confirmed to be from Ebola.

The WHO has warned more flare-ups are expected.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to confirm that Sierra Leone is free of Ebola.

The Ebola outbreak killed almost 4,000 people in Sierra Leone over the past 18 months.

Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, Freetown, last night marking 42 days without a single declared case of the disease.

Many gathered around a giant cotton tree in Freetown’s center, where some lit candles in memory of the victims, and others danced with joy.

According to the WHO, a country is considered free of human-to-human transmission once two 21-day incubation periods have passed since the last known case tested negative for a second time.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma is due to address crowds in the city later,

On November 6, Ernest Bai Koroma blamed the WHO for delaying Sierra Leone declaring a state of emergency and restricting movement during the Ebola outbreak.

The president said his government did at the time what it could do and did not have the knowledge to fight the disease.

Ernest Bai Koroma said his government had to put up with the delays because international organizations such as the WHO “were the experts”.

Neighboring Liberia was declared Ebola-free in September following 4,800 deaths there.

A handful of cases are still being reported in neighboring Guinea, and Sierra Leone has said it will take heightened security and health screening measures at their shared border.


Ebola vaccine VSB- EBOV has led to 100% protection and could transform the way the virus is tackled, preliminary results suggest.

There were no proven drugs or vaccines against Ebola virus at the start of the largest outbreak of the disease in history, which began in Guinea in December 2013.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the findings, being published in the Lancet, could be a “game-changer”.

Experts said the results were “remarkable”.

This trial centered on the VSV-EBOV vaccine, which was started by the Public Health Agency of Canada and then developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck.Ebola vaccine VSV EBOV

It combined a fragment of the Ebola virus with another safer virus in order to train the immune system to beat Ebola.

A unique clinical trial took place in Guinea. When a patient was discovered, their friends, neighbors and family were vaccinated to create a “protective ring” of immunity.

One hundred patients were identified in the trial between April and July and then close contacts were either vaccinated immediately, or three weeks later.

In the 2,014 close contacts who were vaccinated immediately there were no subsequent cases of Ebola.

In those vaccinated later there were 16 cases, according to the results published in the Lancet medical journal.

The WHO says it is so far 100% effective, although that figure may change as more data is collected.

Close contacts of Ebola patients in Guinea will now be vaccinated immediately. Since the vaccine has been shown to be safe the process will also be extended to include children.

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) is involved with this research, and is part of a parallel trial for frontline healthcare workers.

Medical director Bertrand Draguez said the Lancet results should spur instant action.

“With such high efficacy, all affected countries should immediately start and multiply ring vaccinations to break chains of transmission and vaccinate all frontline workers to protect them.”


A new Ebola drug has cured monkeys infected with the virus, US researchers announced.

Experimental drug TKM-Ebola-Guinea targets the Makona strain of the virus, which caused the current deadly outbreak in West Africa.

All three monkeys receiving the treatment were healthy when the trial ended after 28 days.

Three untreated monkeys died within nine days.

However, scientists cautioned that the drug’s efficacy has not been proven in humans.

Currently there are no treatments or vaccines for Ebola that have been proven to work in humans.Ebola drug cures monkeys

Thomas Geisbert from University of Texas, who was the senior author of the study published in the journal Nature, said: “This is the first study to show post-exposure protection… against the new Makona outbreak strain of Ebola-Zaire virus.”

Results from human trials with TKM-Ebola-Guinea are expected in the second half of this year.

Thomas Geisbert said the drug, produced by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, could be adapted to target any strain of Ebola and could be manufactured in as little as eight weeks.

TKM-Ebola-Guinea works by blocking particular genes, which stops the virus replicating.

The two-month production time compares with the several months needed to make ZMapp – another experimental drug, which cured monkeys with a different strain of Ebola than the one in the current outbreak.

Since March 2014, more than 10,602 people have been reported as having died from the disease in six countries – Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the US and Mali.

The total number of reported Ebola cases is more than 25,556.

Guinea has declared a 45-day “health emergency” in five regions in the west and south-west of the country over Ebola.

The restrictions include the quarantining of hospitals and clinics where new cases are detected, new rules on burials and possible lockdowns.

The Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013.

In January, the World Health Organization reported a steady drop in cases in the three epicenter countries.

Renewed concern has been triggered by fresh setbacks in these countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.Ebola outbreak Guinea

President Alpha Conde said he was declaring “a reinforced health emergency for a period of 45 days in the prefectures of Forecariah, Coyah, Dubreka, Boffa and Kindia” in a statement published in national media.

The focus of the virus “has shifted to our country’s coastal areas”, he said.

He added: “Wherever the need may be, throughout this period, measures of restriction and confinement will be taken.”

It is a first for the country since the outbreak began, Reuters reported.

On March 27, Sierra Leone began a three-day nationwide lockdown sparked by fears the virus was making a comeback in some parts of the country.

The southwest region of Guinea borders northern districts of Sierra Leone that are focus areas for the lockdown there.

On Friday evening Guinea deployed security forces to its south-west in response to reports Sierra Leoneans were crossing the border to flee the operation, an official told Associated Press.

Sierra Leone government spokesman Theo Nicol said the two countries had agreed to police the border so people with Ebola symptoms did not cross.

Since the Ebola outbreak began more than 24,000 people in nine countries have been infected with the virus, and over 10,000 of them have died.

Ten US healthcare workers are being evacuated from Sierra Leone after another aid worker back from the West African country had tested positive for Ebola and was being treated in hospital near Washington DC.

The evacuees may have been in contact with the Ebola patient and are being flown back on non-commercial transport.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said none were currently showing Ebola symptoms.Ebola outbreak Sierra Leone

They will stay in voluntary isolation for a 21-day incubation period. If any start to show symptoms they will be taken to one of three hospitals which are equipped to deal with Ebola cases.

On March 13, the CDC sent a team to Sierra Leone to investigate how the healthcare worker became exposed and determine who might have been in contact with the infected person.

The patient is being treated at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland.

It is the 11th person with the deadly virus to be treated in the US.

More than 10,000 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak.

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Sierra Leone Vice-President Samuel Sam-Sumana has put himself into quarantine after one of his bodyguards died from Ebola.

Samuel Sam-Sumana said he would stay out of contact with others for 21 days as a precaution.

There was optimism the Ebola virus was on the decline in Sierra Leone at the end of 2014 but there has been a recent increase in confirmed cases.

Nearly 10,000 people have died in the outbreak, the vast majority in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Samuel Sam-Sumana said on February 28 that he had chosen to be quarantined to “lead by example” after the death of his bodyguard, John Koroma, last week.

He told Reuters that he was “very well” and showing no signs of the illness, but said he did not want to “take chances”.

The vice-president’s staff has also been placed under observation.Sierra Leone VP Samuel Sam Sumana Ebola quarantine

Samuel Sam-Sumana is Sierra Leone’s first senior government figure to subject himself to a voluntary quarantine.

Officials in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have pledged to achieve zero Ebola infections within the next two months.

But authorities in Sierra Leone have reinstated some restrictions in the country after a recent spate of news cases.

Of 99 cases recorded in the region in the week beginning February 16, 63 were in Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.

The government in the capital, Freetown, said it was gravely concerned about the new cases.

It said many of them had been connected with maritime activities and checks on ferries and other vessels had been increased in response.

President Ernest Bai Koroma has also ordered public transport operators to reduce capacity by 25% to limit physical contact between passengers.

In all, more than 23,500 cases have been reported in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since the world’s worst outbreak began in December 2013.

A trial of brincidofovir – a potential drug to treat Ebola – has started at a Medecins Sans Frontieres center in Liberia.

The antiviral is being tested on Ebola patients on a voluntary basis. People who do not consent to it receive standard care.

Oxford University scientists leading the research say initial results are expected in the next few months.

A study involving a similar drug – favipiravir – began in Guinea in December.

More than 8,000 people have died from Ebola during this outbreak, the majority in the worst-affected countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

While a handful of experimental drugs, including brincidofovir and favipiravir, have been given on an ad hoc, compassionate basis in the last year, none has yet been proven to work against the virus in scientific human trials.

A huge international effort – involving the WHO, MSF, drug companies, the Wellcome Trust, and other global health organizations – aims to fast-track treatments that have been identified as potential options.

Prof. Peter Horby, one of the chief investigators at Oxford University, said: “Conducting clinical trials of investigational drugs in the midst of a humanitarian crisis is a new experience for us all, but we are determined not to fail the people of West Africa.

“We are trying a number of different approaches simultaneously as there is only a short window of opportunity to tackle this virus during the outbreak.”Ebola drug brincidofovir

Scientists at Oxford say brincidofovir was chosen because it is effective against Ebola-infected cells in laboratories, has been deemed safe in more than 1,000 patients in trials against other viruses and can be given conveniently as a tablet.

Researchers aim to recruit more than 100 people and will compare death rates at the centre before and after the trial.

The other antiviral drug, favipiravir, being tested by the French National Institute of Health, is already used to treat influenza.

It is offered to all patients who receive care at the MSF treatment centre in Gueckedou, Guinea, and early results are expected in a few months’ time.

Scientists are testing other drugs and treatments.

Oxford University and the company Tekmira hope to establish a further study of a potential treatment which aims to interrupt the genetic code of the virus called TKM-Ebola.

Another approach is to use blood plasma from patients who have recovered from the disease. Trials of this are under way in Guinea’s capital, led by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine. This treatment is also being given to the British nurse Pauline Cafferkey in hospital in London.

And trials involving three separate vaccines designed to prevent people from getting the disease, are taking place in Switzerland, UK, US and Mali.

While a number of different pharmaceutical attempts are being made to tackle the Ebola virus, experts say other strategies – including early and adequate hydration and nutrition – are extremely important.

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The current Ebola outbreak will be ended in 2015, Anthony Banbury, the head of the UN team fighting the disease, has said.

Anthony Banbury said the number of Ebola cases would be brought down to zero by the close of this year, but admitted that the end was “not close”.

“We are engaged in an epic battle,” he said.

The Ebola virus has killed nearly 8,000 people, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, where the disease started in December 2013.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

What is Ebola virus disease (EVD)?

  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva
  • Fatality rate can reach 90% – but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 70%
  • Incubation period is two to 21 days
  • There is no proven vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhea and vomiting can help recovery
  • Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus’ natural host

According to scientists, a two-year-old boy called Emile Ouamouno from Guinea – the Ebola victim who is believed to have triggered the current outbreak – may have been infected by playing in a hollow tree housing a colony of bats.

Scientists made the connection on an expedition to the boy’s village, Meliandou.

They took samples and chatted to locals to find out more about Ebola’s source.

The team’s findings are published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.

Meliandou is a small village of 31 houses.

It sits deep within the Guinean forest region, surrounded by towering reeds and oil palm cultivations – these are believed to have attracted the fruit bats carrying the virus passed on to Emile Ouamouno.Two-year-old Emile Ouamouno is the Ebola victim who is believed to have triggered the current outbreak

During their four-week field trip in April 2014, Dr. Fabian Leendertz, from the Robert Koch Institute in Germany, and colleagues found a large tree stump situated about 165ft from Emile Ouamouno’s home.

Villagers reported that children used to play frequently in the hollow tree.

Emile Ouamouno – who died of Ebola in December 2013 – used to play there, according to his friends.

The villagers said that the tree burned on March 24, 2014 and that once the tree caught fire, there issued a “rain of bats”.

A large number of these insectivorous free-tailed bats – Mops condylurus in Latin – were collected by the villagers for food, but disposed of the next day after a government-led ban on bushmeat consumption was announced.

While bushmeat is thought to be a possible source of Ebola, the scientists believe it didn’t trigger the outbreak.

Instead, it was Emile Ouamouno’s exposure to the bats and their droppings as he played with his friends in the hollowed tree.

The scientists took and tested ash samples from the tree and found DNA traces that were a match for the animals.

While they were unable to test any of the bushmeat that the villagers had disposed of, they captured and tested any living bats they could find in and around Meliandou.

No Ebola could be detected in any of these hundred or so animals, however.

But previous tests show this species of bat can carry Ebola.

Dr. Fabian Leendertz and his colleagues say this must be a pretty rare occurrence though.

He said: “That is also obvious when you think about how many tonnes of bat meat is consumed every year.

“If more bats carried the virus, we would see outbreaks all the time.”

Dr. Fabian Leendertz says it is vital to find out more about the bats.

“They have moved into human settlements. They do not just live in the trees but also under the roofs of houses in the villages.

“The Ebola virus must jump through colonies from bat to bat, so we need to know more.”

He added: “We need to find ways to live together with the wildlife. These bats catch insects and pests, such as mosquitoes. They can eat about a quarter of their body weight in insects a day.

“Killing them would not be a solution. You would have more malaria.”

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In an attempt to contain the Ebola epidemic, Sierra Leone has declared lockdown of at least three days in the north of the country.

Shops, markets and non-Ebola related travel services will be shut down, officials said.

Sierra Leone has already banned many public Christmas celebrations.

More than 7,500 people have died from the outbreak in West Africa so far, the World Health Organization (WHO) says, with Sierra Leone the worst hit.

Sierra Leone has the highest number of Ebola cases in West Africa, with more than 9,000 cases and more than 2,400 deaths since the start of the outbreak.Sierra Leone Ebola lockdown

The other countries at the centre of the outbreak are Liberia and Guinea.

Alie Kamara, resident minister for the Northern Region, told AFP news agency that most public gatherings would be cancelled.

“Muslims and Christians are not allowed to hold services in mosques and churches throughout the lockdown except for Christians on Christmas Day,” he said.

No unauthorized vehicles would be allowed to operate “except those officially assigned to Ebola-related assignments” he added.

The lockdown would operate for at least three days but this could be extended if deemed necessary, officials said.

Sierra Leone has been in a state of emergency since July.

The Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in 2013, but only gained international attention in early 2014.

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A number of bodies have been discovered by health officials in Kono, a remote diamond-mining area of Sierra Leone, raising fears that the scale of the Ebola outbreak may have been underreported.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said they uncovered a “grim scene” in the eastern district of Kono.

A WHO response team had been sent to Kono to investigate a sharp rise in Ebola cases.

Ebola has killed 6,346 people in West Africa, with more than 17,800 infected.

Sierra Leone has the highest number of Ebola cases in West Africa, with 7,897 cases since the beginning of the outbreak.Ebola outbreak Sierra Leone

The WHO said in a statement on December 10 that over 11 days in Kono, “two teams buried 87 bodies, including a nurse, an ambulance driver, and a janitor drafted into removing bodies as they piled up”.

Bodies of Ebola victims are highly infectious and safe burials are crucial in preventing the transmission of the disease.

The response team also found 25 people who had died in the past five days piled up in a cordoned section of the local hospital.

Dr. Olu Olushayo, a member of the WHO’s Ebola response team, said: “Our team met heroic doctors and nurses at their wits’ end, exhausted burial teams and lab techs, all doing the best they could but they simply ran out of resources and were overrun with gravely ill people.”

Health officials are worried that many of the Ebola cases in Kono have gone unreported until now.

“We are only seeing the ears of the hippo,” said Dr Amara Jambai, Sierra Leone’s Director of Disease Prevention and Control.

The district of more than 350,000 inhabitants had reported 119 cases up to December 9.

Authorities in Sierra Leone have decided to put Kono district on “lockdown” from 10 to 23 December to try and contain the outbreak.

During the lockdown, no-one will be able to enter or leave the district but they can move around freely within it.

President Barack Obama has again called for Congress to approve $6 billion in emergency aid to fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Barack Obama made the plea on a visit to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he congratulated scientists on work towards a vaccine.

According to the WHO, 6,055 people have died in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The medical charity, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), has again strongly criticized the international response.

It described it as patchy and slow, with the job of tackling the crisis largely left to doctors, nurses and charity organizations.

The MSF report said foreign governments – notably the UK in Sierra Leone and most recently China in Liberia – were continuing to build Ebola treatment centers.Barack Obama Ebola fight

However, these were sometimes in the wrong places and using under-qualified local staff.

Barack Obama said the strategy to fight Ebola was “beginning to show results”.

“We’re seeing some progress, but the fight is not even close to being over,” he said.

“Every hotspot is an ember that if not contained can become a new fire, so we cannot let down our guard even for a minute. And we can’t just fight this epidemic, we have to extinguish it.”

The president said it was encouraging to see declining infection rates in Liberia and called progress in vaccine research “exciting”.

He urged Congress to give a “good Christmas present” to the world by approving $6 billion in emergency funding.

Congress is at work on a massive spending bill, but Ebola legislation has become embroiled in political partisanship.

Conservative members of Congress are expected to challenge Barack Obama’s appeal for funds in response to the president’s recent controversial executive actions on immigration, helping more than four million illegal immigrants.

Meanwhile, the White House said that the US was better prepared to deal with an outbreak of Ebola at home, and efforts to battle it in West Africa were progressing.

A network of 35 hospitals across the US is ready to treat Ebola patients and the number of labs used for testing the virus has increased from 13 to 42.

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British scientists will trial a 15-minute blood and saliva Ebola test in Guinea.

The solar-powered, portable laboratory should deliver results six times faster than tests currently used in West Africa.

The researchers involved say faster diagnosis would increase the chances of survival and reduce transmission of the virus.

The trial will take place at an Ebola treatment centre in Conakry, Guinea.

Ebola is currently diagnosed by hunting for the virus’s genetic material in the blood of a patient.

The test requires dedicated laboratories that can keep the components of the test at very low temperatures.

Patients in Conakry will still have the proven test, but the new faster method will be trialed at the same time so the results can be compared.

The project, led by the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, uses a mobile suitcase laboratory’.

It is portable, solar-powered and can be used at room temperature.

The project is being funded by the Wellcome Trust medical charity and the UK’s Department for International Development.

Dr. Val Snewin, the international activities manager at the Wellcome Trust, said: “A reliable, 15-minute test that can confirm cases of Ebola would be a key tool for effective management of the Ebola outbreak – allowing patients to be identified, isolated and cared for as soon as possible.

“It not only gives patients a better chance of survival, but it prevents transmission of the virus to other people.

“This pilot study is particularly promising because researchers have considered how to make the test suitable for use in remote field hospitals, where resources – such as electricity and cold storage – are often in short supply.”


The experimental vaccine against Ebola is safe and may help the immune system to combat the virus, the first human trial results suggest.

Twenty volunteers were immunized in the US. Scientists at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) described the results as “promising”.

The research is published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

None of those immunized suffered major side-effects and all produced antibodies.

The volunteers were divided into two groups, receiving either a low or high dose. The antibody response was stronger among those receiving the higher dose.

The investigators found that seven of the high dose and two of the lose dose volunteers produced T-cell immune responses, which may be important in protection against Ebola viruses.

The vaccine uses a chimpanzee cold virus which has been genetically engineered to carry a non-infectious Ebola protein on its surface.

There are four trials underway of this experimental vaccine.

The US vaccine is bivalent – aimed at giving protection against the Sudan and Zaire strains of Ebola. It is the latter which is responsible for the current outbreak.

Trials of a monovalent vaccine – against the Zaire strain – are also underway in Oxford, Mali and Switzerland.

If these also yield positive results then the monovalent vaccine will be offered to thousands of health workers in West Africa.

If the vaccine does work, it is unclear how long the protection would last.

These kinds of questions are usually settled during the early stages of human trials.

In an editorial in the NEJM Dr. Daniel Bausch said that while the trial left many questions unanswered, an Ebola vaccine was “one step closer”.

The experimental vaccine is being manufactured by the British drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

GSK says it can produce one million doses a month by the end of 2015.

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The foundation run by former Microsoft boss Bill Gates and his wife Melinda has pledged $5.7 million towards a program to increase production of experimental Ebola treatments in Guinea and other affected countries.

The program will focus on treatments derived from the blood of survivors.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also said the grant would be used to evaluate new experimental drugs.

More than 5,000 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak – almost all of them in West Africa.

There is currently no licensed treatment or vaccine for the Ebola virus. Hospital treatment is based on giving patients fluids to stop dehydration and antibiotics to fight infections.

There are several experimental vaccines and drug treatments for Ebola under development, but these have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.

The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is to start clinical trials of some of these treatments in West Africa in December.

The foundation said that it would work with several private partners to develop convalescent plasma treatments.

The treatments would use blood donated from Ebola survivors who had been screened for diseases.

The liquid plasma from the blood, containing disease-fighting antibodies, would then be isolated and given directly to patients.

The remaining blood could then be returned to the donor, allowing them to donate blood at a faster rate than before.

Dr. Papa Salif Sow, an infectious diseases expert working with the foundation, said that the program would work with governments to “to rapidly identify and scale up potential lifesaving treatments”.

“The Gates Foundation is focusing its R&D investments on treatments, diagnostics, and vaccines that we believe could be quickly produced and delivered to those who need them if they demonstrate efficacy in stopping the disease,” he said.

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Bob Geldof has revealed that pre-orders of the new Band Aid single have been “manic” since its unveiling.

The Band Aid 30 organizer admitted he had been “a bit nervous” but said the response had been “extraordinary”.

One Direction and Ed Sheeran are among the performers on Do They Know It’s Christmas? to tackle the Ebola outbreak.

A video for the song, re-recorded to raise money to tackle the crisis in West Africa, was shown on ITV’s The X Factor on November 16.

The track is now available to download at a cost of 99p ($1.5). A CD version, costing £4 ($6), will be released in three weeks.

The current Ebola outbreak of the deadly virus was first reported in March and has killed more than 5,000 people, almost all in West Africa.

Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s first version of Do They Know It’s Christmas? raised £8 million ($12.5 million) for famine relief in Ethiopia.

Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith and Coldplay’s Chris Martin also attended the recording of the song on Saturday.

According to reports, though, Adele did not respond to a request to take part.

Charity singles are also set to be recorded in the US, France and Germany, with Daft Punk and Carla Bruni among those said to be involved.

Bob Geldof, however, was critical of Germany’s response to the crisis, saying its leaders were not “doing enough” to tackle the epidemic.

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Martin Salia, surgeon from Sierra Leone, who is critically ill with Ebola, has arrived in the US for treatment.

Dr. Martin Salia, who has US residency and is married to an American citizen, has been taken to a hospital in Nebraska.

Meanwhile France has advised its citizens not to travel to parts of Mali, following the deaths of three people there from the disease.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in the current Ebola outbreak – almost all of them in West Africa.

Sierra Leone is one of the three worst affected countries, along with Liberia and Guinea.

Dr. Martin Salia, 44, had been working as a general surgeon at Kissy United Methodist Hospital in the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown.

It is not clear whether he was involved in the care of Ebola patients.

The doctor, a Sierra Leone citizen who lives in the US state of Maryland, tested positive for the virus on November 10.

After being deemed stable enough to fly, he arrived in Omaha on Saturday afternoon, November 15, and was transferred to an isolation unit at the Nebraska Medical Center.

“Information coming from the team caring for him in Sierra Leone indicates he is critically ill – possibly sicker than the first patients successfully treated in the United States,” the Nebraska hospital said in a statement.

Dr. Martin Salia is the 10th person treated for Ebola in the US. All but one – a Liberian man named Thomas Eric Duncan – have recovered.

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Clinical trials for an effective Ebola treatment are to start in West Africa in December.

The medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which has been helping lead the fight against the virus, says three of its treatment centers will host three separate research projects.

Meanwhile, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lifted the state of emergency imposed in the country.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf warned “this is not because the fight against Ebola is over”.

It marks the progress being made in the country, where the weekly number of new infections is falling.

In a radio address she told the nation that night curfews would be reduced, weekly markets could take place and preparations were being made for the re-opening of schools.

One trial involves using the blood of recovered Ebola patients to treat sick people in the Guinean capital Conakry.

Clinical trials for an effective Ebola treatment are to start in West Africa in December

Clinical trials for an effective Ebola treatment are to start in West Africa in December (photo Getty Images)

Two antiviral drugs will be trialed in Guinea and an unconfirmed location.

“This is an unprecedented international partnership which represents hope for patients to finally get a real treatment,” said MSF spokeswoman Dr. Annick Antierens.

The Ebola outbreak is thought to have infected more than 14,000 people, almost all of them in West Africa. The death toll has risen to 5,160.

The first trials are due to start next month. Initial results could be available in February 2015.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in September that experimental treatments and vaccines for Ebola should be fast-tracked.

Two experimental vaccines, produced by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Public Health Agency of Canada, have already been fast-tracked into safety trials.

The GSK vaccine is being tested in Mali, the UK and the US. Research on the Canadian vaccine is also under way in the US.

Around 400 people participate in the first trials and they will be extended to other centers if the early results are promising.

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The Ebola outbreak death toll has risen to 5,160, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced in a new report.

The frequency of new cases no longer appears to be increasing nationally in Guinea and Liberia but remains high in Sierra Leone, the WHO added.

The Ebola outbreak is thought to have infected more than 14,000 people, almost all of them in West Africa.

The deaths of three more people in Mali have been reported in the past day.

The Ebola outbreak death toll has risen to 5,160

The Ebola outbreak death toll has risen to 5,160

“Transmission remains intense in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone” and the frequency of new cases is still increasing in Sierra Leone, the WHO said in its situation report.

Health experts have argued that the rate of new cases is more significant that the total death toll, as it reflects how fast the virus is spreading.

More than 2,830 people have died from Ebola in Liberia, with more than 1,100 deaths in both Guinea and Sierra Leone, the WHO said.

Mali has reported four deaths from Ebola, while there were eight reported Ebola deaths in Nigeria, and one in the US.

The total number of deaths has increased by 200 since the WHO’s last situation report on November 7.

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Health workers treating Ebola patients at a clinic in Sierra Leone have gone on strike, protesting about the government’s failure to pay an agreed weekly $100 “hazard payment”.

The staff includes more than 400 nurses, porters and cleaners.

The clinic, in Bandajuma near Bo, is the only Ebola treatment centre in southern Sierra Leone.

In Mali, a nurse and the patient he was treating earlier became the second and third people to die from Ebola there.

Nearly 5,000 people have been killed in the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Ebola outbreak a global health emergency.

The Bandajuma clinic is run by medical charity MSF, which said it would be forced to close the facility if the strike continued.

About 60 patients had been left unattended because of the strike at the clinic in Bandajuma.

There are international staff at the clinic but they are unable to keep the clinic open on their own.

The staff, who are protesting outside the clinic, say the government agreed to the “hazard payments” when the facility was established but has failed to make any payments since September.

The money was due to be paid in addition to salaries the staff receive from MSF.

Earlier, the Malian authorities confirmed that a nurse and the patient he was treating at a clinic in Bamako had died.

The patient, a traditional Muslim healer in his 50s, had recently arrived from Guinea.

The current outbreak is the deadliest since Ebola was discovered in 1976.

Ebola was first identified in Guinea in March, before it spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. The WHO says there are now more than 13,240 confirmed, suspected and probable cases, almost all in these countries.

The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals will not take place in Morocco because of the country’s fears over the Ebola outbreak elsewhere on the continent, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed.

The CAF expelled Morocco, which would have qualified as hosts, from the finals.

The confederation did not announce a new venue for the tournament, due to take place from January 17 to February 8.

New reports claim that three nations have expressed an interest and the new host will be confirmed on November 12.

Morocco had been given until November 8 to make a final decision on whether or not it would host the tournament.

The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals will not take place in Morocco because of the country’s fears over the Ebola outbreak

The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals will not take place in Morocco because of the country’s fears over the Ebola outbreak

The country had asked to postpone the competition until 2016.

Egypt has stated it will not host the tournament for “economic and political reasons”.

Qualification matches for the tournament will continue as planned on November 14 and 15 to decide which 15 teams will join the new host country for the finals.

Up to November 4, at least 4,960 people had been reported as having died from Ebola, mainly in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Morocco had expressed fears an influx of foreign fans could help spread the epidemic.

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CBS News’s correspondent Lara Logan is being quarantined in a South Africa hotel for 21 days as a precaution after visiting an American-run hospital treating Ebola patients in Liberia for a 60 Minutes report that aired on November 9.

Lara Logan’s 21-day self-quarantine will end on November 14, CBS said.

Neither Lara Logan nor the four other CBS employees in South Africa have shown any sign that they are infected with the virus.

Lara Logan is being quarantined in a South Africa hotel for 21 days as a precaution after visiting Ebola patients in Liberia

Lara Logan is being quarantined in a South Africa hotel for 21 days as a precaution after visiting Ebola patients in Liberia (photo CBS News)

Lara Logan, speaking in a 60 Minutes Overtime web interview from the room where the CBS crew put its report together, admitted to some cabin fever as she waits out her stay. She said the South African government had given the crew permission to work at the hotel.

“We wanted to try, as much as possible, to minimize our exposure to anybody while we still had to get our piece done,” she said.

“We were very mindful of the fact that this 21-day period after you’ve been in an Ebola-affected country is very important to everyone.”

The interview showed Lara Logan and one of her colleagues in a room stuffed with equipment.

“We haven’t traveled far from the room that you can see,” she said.

The 60 Minutes report detailed Lara’s precautions while in Liberia, including being hosed down with a chlorine solution, having her temperature taken frequently and making sure not to touch people. A CBS security worker traveled with the crew with the responsibility of watching everyone’s interactions to minimize any chance they could be infected.

A cameraman who was working for NBC News in Liberia contracted the virus but recovered last month. Nancy Snyderman, the NBC News medical correspondent who worked there, was asked to go into voluntary quarantine when she arrived home but that was made mandatory after she was spotted leaving her home. ABC’s Richard Besser was not quarantined upon his return from Liberia because the ABC team was judged not to have had exposure to the virus.

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An emergency fund has been set up by top African business leaders to help countries hit by the Ebola outbreak.

After a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the group raised $28.5 million to deploy at least 1,000 health workers to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Experts say that if the Ebola virus is to be speedily contained, it needs to be tackled in these three countries.

Nearly 5,000 people out of about 14,000 cases have been killed by Ebola, most of them in Liberia.

Speaking at the end of the Addis Abada meeting, African Union chairman Dlamini Zuma said the resources mobilized would be part of a longer term program to deal with such outbreaks in the future.

The chairman of telecommunications giant Econet Wireless, Strive Masiyiwa, said that several companies had pledged money to the emergency fund – to be managed by the African Development Bank.

The Ethiopia meeting took place as Liberia was reported by the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on November 7 to have seen a significant reduction in the number of new cases.

It warned, however, that Ebola was still on the rise in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Nearly 5,000 people out of about 14,000 cases have been killed by Ebola, most of them in Liberia

Nearly 5,000 people out of about 14,000 cases have been killed by Ebola, most of them in Liberia

Of the West African countries hit by the 11-month outbreak, Liberia has seen the most deaths.

However, last weekend Liberian health ministry said two-thirds of the 696 beds in the country’s treatment centers were empty.

Liberia’s government has been running an awareness campaign, advertising the best health practices and installing hand washing stations at buildings across the country.

However, despite significant contributions from the US, the UK, China and others, the head of the UN mission charged with fighting Ebola says more help is urgently needed.

Teresa Romero, the Spanish nurse who became the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside West Africa in the latest outbreak, has given an emotional account of her ordeal as she left hospital.

Teresa Romero, 44, said she had clung to memories of family when she thought she was dying and still does not know how she caught the disease.

She had treated two returning Spanish missionaries who later died.

Teresa Romero vowed to donate blood to other Ebola victims until she “ran dry”.

In her first press conference after being discharged from the Carlos III hospital, she also condemned Spanish officials for putting down her dog.

She said they had unnecessarily “executed” the mixed breed Excalibur.

On her release from hospital, Teresa Romero read a statement, saying: “When I felt I was dying I would cling to my memories, to my family and my husband, I was isolated and I did not have any contact with the exterior except with (husband) Javier by telephone.”

She said she felt the disease “did not matter to the Western world until there was an infection here”.

Teresa Romero became the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside West Africa in the latest outbreak

Teresa Romero became the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside West Africa in the latest outbreak (photo AFP)

She added: “I don’t know what failed, or if anything failed. I just know that I don’t hold any grudges.”

Teresa Romero recovered after being given a variety of treatments including blood plasma from survivor Paciencia Melgar.

She said that she wanted to meet the nun and “give her a big hug”.

“I can never be grateful enough,” she said.

An antiviral drug was also given to Teresa Romero but the hospital was unable to say which method had been successful.

The nurse said that if her blood helped cure another Ebola sufferer she would “repeat it again until I run dry”.

Teresa Romero also thanked the hospital staff for their support and said it would have been “impossible” to save her life without it.

Hospital chief Rafael Perez-Santamarina told reporters it was “excellent news after a very complicated month for everyone”.

Teresa Romero no longer posed a risk and could lead a normal life, said Jose Ramon Arribas, the head of the Carlos III hospital’s infectious diseases unit.

Although she would be able to return to home, she would need “time for a full recovery from a very dramatic event,” his colleague Jose Ramon Arribas added.

“The main joy is that finally it’s been possible to save someone with Ebola and more importantly a colleague,” fellow nurse Esther Bellon said.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed some 5,000 people. The vast majority of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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