EU raises Ebola aid for West Africa to €140 million

The European Commission announced Friday it was giving €140 million ($181.5 million) to support West African countries in their fight against the deadly Ebola virus.

The commission, the EU's executive arm, is offering €38 million to help fight Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria and to strengthen their healthcare systems, food security, water and hygiene systems. €5 million was earmarked for mobile laboratories.

The commission has also contributed €97.5 million in budget support to Liberia and Sierre Leone as the countries are currently experiencing serious economic problems because of the Ebola outbreak.

EU Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said that the situation was going from "bad to worse". She added that the international community would provide adequate air transportation and medical equipment in order "to fight this menace."

The World Health Organization said on Thursday that more than 1,900 people had been killed by Ebola since the outbreak in West Africa was first reported.

The tropical fever, which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, can be transmitted to humans from wild animals.

It also reportedly spreads through contact with the body fluids of infected persons or of those who have died of the disease.

The World Health Organization describes the Ebola virus as "one of the most virulent."

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