Ebola crisis: Two Austrian men given all clear, African Development Bank announces $60 million to fight epidemic

Ebola crisis: Two Austrian men given all clear, African Development Bank announces $60 million to fight epidemic

Ebola crisis: Two Austrian men given all clear, African Development Bank announces $60 million to fight epidemic

Updated 20 August 2014, 7:46 AEST

Two men in Austria who had been hospitalised on the suspicion of carrying the Ebola virus have been given the all clear.

Austria's health ministry said test results for the men, who had recently returned from Nigeria, were negative.

The development comes as the African Development Bank (AfDB) pledged $60 million ($45 million euros) to help fight the deadly Ebola outbreak.

The aid will help authorities in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria to strengthen their surveillance and response systems to halt the spread of the deadly disease, AfDB president Donald Kaberuka said.

"The Ebola epidemic is not only a public health crisis, but an economic crisis ... which affects many sectors," he told a press conference.

West Africa's Ebola epidemic is by far the deadliest since the virus was discovered four decades ago in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the death toll for the virus has reached 1,229, most of them in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, with four cases in Nigeria.

Some 2,240 people are also confirmed or suspected to have the disease.

Seventeen suspected Ebola patients who escaped on Saturday from a looted quarantine centre have been found, Liberian authorities said.

A government spokesman says the patients have been transferred to a specialist treatment centre.

Cameroon closes borders in bid to limit Ebola virus

Meanwhile, Cameroon has closed all its borders with Nigeria in a bid to halt the spread of the Ebola virus, state radio said on Tuesday.

The country's communications minister and government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary says the measure is a bid "to protect its population because it is much better to prevent than cure the Ebola virus".

The WHO said it was working with the UN's World Food Program to ensure food delivery to one million people living in Ebola quarantine zones cordoned off by local security forces in a border zone of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

It has told countries affected by the outbreak to screen people departing at airports, seaports and major land border points and stop any with signs of the virus.

Some airline staff refuse to work on West African flights

Several international and regional airlines have cancelled services to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea as a precaution.

However, some Air France flight crews are refusing to board planes bound for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria over fears of the Ebola outbreak, the airline said Tuesday.

Cabin crew scheduled to work on some flights "have not wanted to carry out their assignment", a spokesman for the company said.

"In the end, all these flights left with the usual number of crew and with teams that had the usual level of qualifications, according to the regulations," he said.

Air France serves more West Africa destinations than any other major carrier. It has given its staff freedom to chose whether or not they want to fly to Conakry, Freetown and Lagos after British Airways and Emirates suspended flights to the region.

On Monday, one Air France union, SNGAF, launched a petition calling for the "immediate end to flights to countries hit by the Ebola virus".

Shipping companies operating on Africa's west coast, as well as port authorities, were also on high alert.

AFP/Reuters