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Death toll in west African Ebola outbreak passes 3,000

The number of deaths linked to an Ebola outbreak in west Africa has passed 3,000, the World Health Organisation said.

The new tolls published on Friday showed that there were more than 150 deaths in Liberia alone in just two days.

The outbreak has also touched Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal - but it is the worst in Liberia.

The WHO has said that even the heavy death toll in this outbreak - the largest ever - may be an underestimate.

Cases are going unrecorded because people are afraid to go to hospitals, or worse, are turned away from them because they are overflowing.

The latest figures said more than 6,500 people are believed to have contracted Ebola.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has approved 130 million dollars (£80 million) in emergency aid to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to help the West African countries respond to the Ebola outbreak.

The Washington-based lending institution said the amount will cover part of the immediate balance of payments and budget needs of the three countries but added more help was needed from other donors.

Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, said the organisation "is working hard with the authorities of the affected countries and their development partners to ensure that the outbreak is quickly brought under control and to assist the economic rebuilding that must follow".

Under the outlay, Liberia gets 49 million dollars (£30.2 million), Guinea 41 million dollars (£25.2 million) and Sierra Leone 40 million dollars (£24.6 million).

The IMF said these countries need an additional 170 million dollars (£104 million).

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