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WHO calls Ebola modern world’s worst health crisis

The World Health Organisation says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times” but adds that economic disruptions can be curbed if people are adequately informed to avoid irrational moves to dodge infection.

World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan, citing World Bank figures, today said that 90 per cent of economic costs of any outbreak “come from irrational and disorganised efforts of the public to avoid infection.”

In her statement to a regional health conference in Manila, which was read by a WHO official, Chan said educating the public about any disease outbreak is a “good defence strategy.” She praised the Philippines for holding an anti-Ebola summit last week.

The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 4,000 people.

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