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SA NGO determined to assist Ebola-hit Liberia

Gerhard Nagel says several people in rural areas are suffering from various medical issues.

FILE: An Ebola sign placed in front of a home in the West Point slum area of Monrovia, Liberia. Picture: EPA.

CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town non-profit organisation says it's determined to get a team and supplies together in order to medically assist Liberians in rural areas of the country.

The World Health Organization's latest figures indicate almost 5,000 people have died from the worst Ebola outbreak in history since it broke out several months ago.

Privateers International's Gerhard Nagel says he is planning to head to a rural region of Liberia in 10 days.

Nagel adds many people in rural areas are suffering as aid isn't reaching far-flung areas.

"We need to see if we get sponsors and if we can get flights to Liberia. We need sponsors to help us put together safety equipment or prevention equipment for the healthcare workers in the rural areas."

Nagel says he will stay in Liberia with his team for at least six months

"The attempt would be to put equipment together to take to the north of Liberia. This is a very rural area, approximately 270,000 people live there, Eighty percent of them are in rural areas and 80 percent don't have roads in order for us to get to them."

BOY (5) OBSERVED AT NYC HOSPITAL FOR EBOLA

A five-year-old boy who arrived from Guinea was being observed in isolation at Bellevue Hospital in New York City for possible Ebola symptoms, according to media reports Monday, as New York and New Jersey stuck to new plans to quarantine health workers returning from countries hardest hit by the virus.

The boy, who arrived in the United States on Saturday, had a 103 degree Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius) fever, ABC News reported.

He has not been tested for the virus and was not under quarantine, ABC said, citing New York City health department officials.

The New York Post said the boy had been vomiting and was taken from his home in the Bronx by emergency medical workers.

Four people have been diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. The first diagnosis, a Liberian visitor to Texas in September who died, was riddled with missteps. Two nurses who treated the man contracted the disease but have recovered.

The missteps and delays in diagnosis of the Liberian man prompted some states to impose or consider restrictions on travellers coming from the West African countries where the virus has killed nearly 5,000 people.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo struck a more conciliatory tone on Sunday about the new quarantine policy after the White House said that mandatory isolation could impede the Ebola fight, while an attorney for a nurse who has been quarantined in New Jersey since returning from West Africa said she planned to sue.

Responding to concerns that mandatory quarantine would inhibit doctors and nurses from traveling to West Africa, Cuomo said New York wanted to encourage personnel to go, lauding their "valor" and "compassion", while also protecting public safety at home.

Healthcare workers and travellers exposed to people with Ebola and who live in New York may stay in their homes for the 21-day quarantine and be checked upon twice daily by healthcare professionals, Cuomo said, adding the state would provide financial assistance if needed.

The White House had voiced its concern to the governors of New York and New Jersey about the potential impact of quarantine orders, a senior administration official said.

"We have let the governors of New York, New Jersey, and other states know that we have concerns with the unintended consequences of policies not grounded in science may have on efforts to combat Ebola at its source in West Africa," the Obama administration official said in a statement.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie first announced the quarantine policy on Friday, reiterating late Sunday that the terms had not changed.

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