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WHO launches $100 million response effort as Ebola virus deaths top 700

The World Health Organization announced a $100 million response plan Thursday to control the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which is now responsible for more 700 deaths.

“The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level, and this will require increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and coordination,” WHO Director Margaret Chen said in a statement.

“Several hundred more personnel” are needed, WHO said, to help alleviate treatment facilities stretched thin; requiring more clinical doctors, nurses, epidemiologists among other experts to help prevent the virus from spreading to neighboring countries.

Out of the 1,323 people infected, Ebola has killed 729 people in West Africa since the virus was first detected in March, WHO said. Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency Thursday, with President Ernest Bai Koroma ordering troops to quarantine sick patients.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Peace Corps began evacuating 340 volunteers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea after two of its volunteers came into contact with a person who later died of the virus.

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