1 August 2014
The British Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal to help communities affected by the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.
Ebola has claimed more than 720 lives across Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, in what is the worst outbreak of the disease in history.
The Red Cross, along with governments and aid agencies in the region, is increasing efforts to prevent the spread of the virulent disease.
This outbreak, which began in Guinea in March, has a fatality rate of more than 50 per cent.
Fighting the disease
Red Cross staff and volunteers are at the forefront of the fight against the highly infectious disease.
The Red Cross is working within affected communities, and those at risk of being affected, to educate people on how to prevent further infections.
Red Cross workers are disposing of the bodies of those who have died, which remain infectious, and are also trying to trace people who may have come into contact with Ebola.
A number of specialist British Red Cross workers have been deployed to the region to help support the relief effort.
Ebola’s symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and, in some cases, internal and external bleeding. There is currently no cure or vaccine for the Ebola virus, although its spread can be prevented.
Mandeep Mudhar, British Red Cross West Africa emergency response, said: “This outbreak shows no signs of abating, but we are doing everything we can to prevent new infections and help raise awareness about the disease.
“The Red Cross’ unique position in providing community health and hygiene promotion work is essential in avoiding further spread of the Ebola virus across the region, so money raised from this appeal will be invaluable in contributing to this fight.
“Our staff and volunteers are working tirelessly within communities and we are increasing our efforts to help more people.”