British Airways Suspends Liberia, Sierra Leone Flights Due to Ebola

A second major airline has suspended flights to parts of West Africa because of the deadly Ebola outbreak in the region.

British Airways said Tuesday that it is suspending flights to and from Liberia and Sierra Leone due to "the deteriorating public health situation in both countries." It said the suspension is due to run until Aug.31. The Dubai-based airline Emirates suspended its service to Guinea on Aug. 2.

The three countries are the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak that has killed nearly 900 people in the region this year.

Late Monday, the World Bank pledged up to $200 million to help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone contain the outbreak, improve public health systems and help communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis.

The bank said workers have fled farming areas in Ebola-affected zones, although it said "there has been no measurable impact on the food supply."

Nigeria health officials wait to screen passengers at the arrival hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria on Aug. 4, 2014. /AP Nigeria health officials wait to screen passengers at the arrival hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria on Aug. 4, 2014. /AP

Meanwhile, a second U.S. missionary who contracted Ebola in Liberia has arrived back in the United States.

Nancy Writebol traveled on a specially outfitted plane that landed in the southeastern city of Atlanta on Tuesday.  She will be treated at Emory University Hospital, alongside an American doctor who also contracted the deadly virus while treating patients in Liberia.

Both received a dose of an experimental serum before leaving Liberia.

On Monday, officials at a New York City hospital said a man suffering from a high fever and gastrointestinal problems arrived at the emergency room and was quickly isolated. They say the patient recently traveled to a West African country where Ebola has been reported, and is now undergoing tests to determine the cause of his illness. No other details about the man were given.

Authorities in Nigeria Monday reported the country's second confirmed case of Ebola -- a doctor who treated the first patient who died July 25 in Lagos.  Eight others are being monitored for the disease.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected persons. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding from the eyes, ears, mouth and nose.  

Death rates from Ebola in the past have gone as high as 90 percent, but the death rate from the current outbreak is closer to 60 percent.

VOA News / Aug. 06, 2014 08:13 KST