US: Ebola epidemic won't alter Africa summit plans

Washington - The Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa in seven months will not affect plans for next week's US-Africa summit, the White House said on Thursday.

"At this point, there are no plans in place to alter the schedule in any way," White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said.

US health authorities have concluded "there is no significant risk in the United States from the current Ebola outbreak", he added.

With the epidemic setting off alarms, however, the presidents of both Sierra Leone and Liberia have said they will not attend the Washington summit, which is supposed to bring together nearly 50 African heads of state and government, a first in US history.

"We certainly understand the decision that was made by some of these African leaders to not participate," Earnest said. "They obviously have some very pressing items of business to handle in their own countries."

The US administration has already said the epidemic will be among the subjects discussed during the three-day event starting on Monday, which was announced a year ago by President Barack Obama during a tour of Africa.

On Thursday, US health authorities urged Americans to avoid travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the countries most affected by the epidemic.

The Ebola virus, which is spread through contact with bodily fluids, has been lethal in 55 percent of cases in the current outbreak, which began early this year.

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Bongani Nsele 2014-07-31 10:12:59 PM
why is this ebola in Africa if you compare populations of India, China and the Middle east you would swear this ebola must originate from there 650 million Indians have no toilets and running water and they live among their animals and there are people everywhere very poor people and these are the conditions for ebola to thrive according to what they tell us, same in rural china, Bangladesh and pakistan