Countries declare Ebola public health emergency

The country of Guinea became the latest to declare a public health emergency as West African nations struggle to contain a deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus that's claimed over a thousand lives.

Guinea announced late Wednesday night it was sending health workers to its borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia to help contain the disease.


Guinean President Alpha Condé also imposed travel restrictions and a ban on moving bodies between towns until the epidemic is under control.

"The World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency over Ebola,” said Condé in a televised address. “Considering that Guinea is a signatory to the WHO constitution I declare Ebola a national health emergency in Guinea."

People suspected of contracting Ebola will also immediately be hospitalized; anyone they have come into contact will be confined to their homes.

People who try to break the public health emergency’s restrictions will “face the might of the law,” he added.

Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria had already declared public health emergencies over recent weeks as the number of cases of the deadly disease ballooned to almost 2,000.

The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have deployed troops to prevent people who may be infected from crossing back and forth across their porous borders. They are also using their militaries to quarantine villages where the disease has infected residents.

The latest Ebola outbreak is the worst in history and has global health officials fighting to control it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent dozens of workers to the region to help contain the outbreak, and governments are working with drugmakers to accelerate development of vaccines to stop the disease.