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W. Africa Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 10:23am
The Associated Press
 
              In this photo taken on Sunday, July 27, 2014,  medical personnel work at the Doctors Without Borders facility in Kailahun, Sierra Leone where Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan died. A leading doctor who risked his own life to treat dozens of Ebola patients died Tuesday, July 29, 2014,  from the disease, officials said, as a major regional airline announced it was suspending flights to the cities hardest hit by an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people. Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, who was praised as a national hero for treating the disease in Sierra Leone, was confirmed dead by health ministry officials there. He had been hospitalized in quarantine. (AP Photo/ Youssouf Bah)

The World Health Organization says the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history now has killed more than 700 people across West Africa.

According to new figures released Thursday, at least 57 deaths have been reported in recent days.

Nearly half of the new deaths were reported in Liberia.

Liberia's president ordered the nation's schools to close on Wednesday and also demanded that most government employees stay home in a bid to stop the disease's spread.

Sierra Leone, where nine new deaths were reported, also has declared a public health emergency and is trying to quarantine sick people at home who have refused to go to isolation centers.

Ebola cases first emerged in Guinea back in March, though the crisis has dramatically deepened in the last week.

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