The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be an international public health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread.
It is the largest and longest outbreak ever recorded of Ebola, which has a death rate of about 50 per cent and has so far killed at least 932 people.
"Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own," WHO chief, Dr. Margaret Chan, said at a news conference in Geneva. "I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible."
"Statements won't save lives," said Dr. Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders. "For weeks, (we) have been repeating that a massive medical, epidemiological and public health response is desperately needed ... Lives are being lost because the response is too slow."
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have already elevated their Ebola response to the highest level and have recommended against travelling to West Africa. On Thursday, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden told a Congressional hearing that the current outbreak is set to sicken more people than all previous outbreaks of the disease combined.