A deadly Ebola virus epidemic has killed 603 people in West Africa since February, according to the World Health Organization.
The disease, which causes hemorrhagic fever, is spreading fast, with 85 new cases and 69 deaths reported just between July 8-12, PBS Newshour reported
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The disease is affecting Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, but WHO officials expect it to spread to nearby countries.
The epidemic, which is being called the deadliest outbreak ever of the virus, led Ivory Coast officials to deny 400 refugees who fled to Liberia to return home for fear of the virus spreading, the BBC reported
The virus is spread through contact with bodily fluids and kills up to 90 percent of those infected. There is no cure or vaccine.
UN refugee agency officials called the Ivory Coast decision “unacceptable” and said they had offered to conduct medical screenings of the refugees, the BBC said.
Dangers of the disease spreading are heightened because the outbreak is along a major hub of global travel in western Africa, CNBC reported
The outbreak is unlikely to reach the United States, the report said, because of more advanced disease control practices and communication.
"Americans generally do not have an immediate danger but they must be prepared through good public health practice. We can no longer become complacent to any public health danger anywhere," Dr. Cecilia Rokusek, assistant dean for education, planning and research at Nova Southeastern University, said, according to CNBC.
A deep mistrust of doctors is making it difficult for health workers to control the spread of the disease, PBS reported.
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