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Rural areas are blockaded as nations try to contain Ebola

POLICE and soldiers in Sierra Leone blockaded rural areas hit by the deadly Ebola virus on Thursday, a senior officer said, after neighbouring Liberia declared a state of emergency to tackle the worst-ever outbreak of the disease, which has killed 932 people.

Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, announced emergency measures late on Wednesday that will, for 90 days, allow her government to curtail civil rights by imposing quarantines on badly affected communities to contain an epidemic that has struck several West African nations.

In Geneva, World Health Organization experts were due to hold a second day of meetings to discuss measures to tackle the outbreak and whether to classify it as an international health emergency.

The vast majority of cases are in the remote border area of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, but concern over Ebola's spread grew last month when a US citizen died in Nigeria of the virus after arriving from the region.

A nurse who treated him has now also died in Lagos, and at least five other people have been isolated with symptoms.

In Saudi Arabia, a man suspected of contracting Ebola during a recent business trip to Sierra Leone also died early on Wednesday in Jeddah. Some major airlines, such as British Airways and Emirates, have halted flights to affected countries.

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