Latest Updates / Liberia: 41 UN Staffers Under Ebola Observation

Stepped-up Ebola screening starting at NYC airport; Ebola funds should not be repackaged aid, Africa bank chief says; Britain to hold national Ebola readiness drill.

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Medical staff in Newcastle takes part in a national exercise to test Britain's readiness for an Ebola outbreak, October 11, 2014.
Medical staff in Newcastle takes part in a national exercise to test Britain's readiness for an Ebola outbreak, October 11, 2014. Credit: Reuters

American Marines scrambled to add Ebola treatment beds in Liberia on Friday, while the U.S. and Britain readied new disease screenings for passengers arriving at their airports from West Africa. Doctors tried out experimental drugs in a global battle against the deadly sickness.

The UN said nations must all work together — and fast — or "the world will have to live with the Ebola virus forever."

The death toll in West Africa passed 4,000 for the first time in the World Health Organization's count of confirmed and suspected Ebola cases. The hardest-hit country is Liberia, where 2,316 people have died. The death toll in Sierra Leone and Guinea stands at nearly 1,000 respectively, according to the WHO.

Click here for Friday's updates on the Ebola outbreak

Latest updates:

22:41 P.M. The head of the African Development Bank expressed concern on Saturday that some donors responding to the Ebola crisis were repackaging aid money, funneling it away from other areas in need in the three countries at the center for the epidemic.

In an interview, Donald Kaberuka said moving funds from already allocated development projects in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone was unhelpful in the long term and make their rebuilding harder.

"I have told donors that I hope what they are announcing is additional resources because if it isn't ...once (Ebola) is gone we will have no resources to build health care systems and continue reconstruction," Kaberuka told Reuters on the sidelines of meetings in Washington of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. (Reuters)

7:36 P.M. New Jersey health officials have ordered into mandatory quarantine an NBC News crew that worked with an American cameraman who contracted Ebola in Liberia, though the group has no symptoms, its health department said on Saturday.

Freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo is receiving treatment at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, which said on Friday that he had shown modest improvement and was in stable condition. (Reuters)

6:04 P.M. Macedonia on Saturday ruled out the Ebola virus as the cause of death of a British man in the Balkan country on Thursday.

Authorities sealed off the hotel where the Briton had been staying and put 35 people in isolation when he died. (Reuters)

2:25 P.M. Three more people are under observation in a Madrid hospital, boosting the number currently being monitored for Ebola symptoms to 16. A nursing assistant infected with the virus, Teresa Romero, remains stable.

The three are a nurse who treated Romero, a hairdresser who served her and a hospital cleaner were admitted to Madrid's Carlos III hospital Friday. A government statement on Saturday said none of the 16 in quarantine — including Romero's husband, five doctors and five nurses — have shown any symptoms. (AP)

1:12 P.M. Liberia's United Nations peacekeeping mission says 41 staff members, including 20 military personnel, are under "close medical observation" after an international member of its medical team contracted Ebola.

The mission said in a statement late Friday that the measures were precautionary and that none of the staff members had shown signs of Ebola.

The staffers were identified via contact tracing and will be observed for 21 days, which the World Health Organization says is the maximum incubation period.

The member of the medical team, whose name and nationality have not been disclosed, was diagnosed Monday and arrived in Germany Thursday for treatment — the third Ebola patient to be flown there.

It is the second case of a UN staffer contracting Ebola in Liberia. The first died September 26. (AP)

1:53 P.M. British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a national Ebola readiness drill to take place across the health sector on Saturday. (DPA) Read full story

7:20 A.M. U.S. starts enhanced Ebola screening program at New York's JFK airport. (Reuters) Read full story

Reuters, AP and DPA contributed to the report

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