UPDATE 2-West African nations should be prepared for Ebola - WHO expert

Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:32pm GMT

* Warns that sick travellers may cross borders

* Ebola outbreak persists in forested areas

* WHO not recommending travel or trade restrictions

* West African health ministers meet next week in Ghana (Adds details, quotes, byline)

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, June 27 (Reuters) - West African nations neighbouring those hit by the Ebola epidemic - Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Guinea Bissau - should prepare for the possible arrival of travellers carrying the deadly virus, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

The outbreak persists especially in forested areas of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and its spread is being fueled by unsafe burial practices that infect relatives handling bodies, the U.N. agency said.

"We want other countries in West Africa to be ready - bordering countries, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Guinea Bissau - to prepare themselves in case people affected with the disease may be also travelling," WHO medical officer Dr. Pierre Formenty told a briefing in Geneva.

Despite efforts by national health authorities and international aid organisations to contain its spread, the WHO has recorded 635 infections, including 399 deaths, in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since the outbreak began in February.   Continued...

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