US: Ebola not a threat for US-Africa Leaders Summit

Washington DC, US (PANA) - The US-Africa Leaders Summit, scheduled for next week in Washington DC, will go on as planned even though the continent is experiencing an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, a brief White House media advisory said on Thursday.

"We have no plans to change any elements of the US-Africa summit, as we believe all air travel continues to be safe here," the advisory signed by White House deputy press secretary, Mr. Eric Schultz, stated.

He noted that Obama had issued invitations for the summit to leaders in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries experiencing the Ebola outbreak.

However, PANA has learned that President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and President of Liberia, Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have cancelled their planned visit to Washington DC for the summit.

According to Schultz, the White House was continuing to monitor the Ebola outbreak closely, saying: "The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said this is not a risk to the US, and officials in both the US and in African countries are on high-alert."

"At its core, this Summit is about fostering stronger ties between the United States and Africa," he added.

Meanwhile, a US Congressman, Florida Representative Alan Grayson, has asked the Obama administration to restrict travel into the US for anyone who lives or has recently visited the three countries suffering from the breakout.

Two Americans working in Liberia, Dr. Kent Brantly, a medical doctor, and an aid worker, Ms. Nancy Writebol have contracted the Ebola virus.

Both Mr. Brantly and Ms. Writebol, who are working for charitable groups trying to fight Ebola in the country, are currently being treated for the virus.

The Ebola virus is transmitted through body fluids, and occurs in Central and West Africa, in areas near tropical rainforests.

There is no vaccine or cure available to those who contract the disease.
-0- PANA AA/MA 31July2014

31 july 2014 19:47:17

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