Liberia hopes US aid can turn tide on Ebola

Liberian Red Cross health workers wearing protective suits carry the body of a victim of the Ebola virus on September 10, 2014 in a district of Monrovia (AFP Photo/Zoom Dosso)

Monrovia (AFP) - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Wednesday hailed the US pledge of military help to fight West Africa's Ebola epidemic, saying she hoped the global community would follow suit.

"The announcement yesterday by the United States government of direct military assistance is a significant moment in the battle against Ebola," Sirleaf said in a statement.

"We hope this decision by the United States will spur the rest of the international community into action."

Under a major new US initiative, 3,000 military personnel are to deploy to West Africa to combat the crisis, with a command and control center in the capital of Liberia, the hardest-hit country.

President Barack Obama issued a global call to action to fight the epidemic as he announced the mission on Tuesday, warning the deadly outbreak was spreading "exponentially".

"Our American partners realize Liberia cannot defeat Ebola alone," Sirleaf said.

"This disease is not simply a Liberian or West African problem. The entire community of nations has a stake in ending this crisis."

The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 2,400 people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone this year.

The virus can fell its victims within days, causing severe fever and muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea -- in some cases shutting down organs and causing unstoppable bleeding.