Fears are growing worldwide about the spread of the ebola outbreak in west Africa as the number of people killed by the virus passed 4,000.
The figure came after staff threw medical gloves at the Spanish prime minister when he visited a hospital in Madrid where a nurse has ebola.According to the World Health Organisation, 4,033 people had died from the disease as of October 8 out of a total of 8,399 registered cases in seven countries. The sharp rise in deaths was revealed as the United Nations said aid pledges to fight the epidemic have fallen well short of the bn (£0.63bn) needed. Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has predicted the number of cases could reach 1.4 million by January unless efforts to contain the virus are stepped up. The US has begun an enhanced ebola screening programme at New York s JFK airport. Teams armed with thermal guns and questionnaires will screen passengers from West African countries hardest hit by the outbreak. JFK is the first of five airports to start increased screening of US-bound travellers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. On Friday the Canadian government advised its citizens to leave African countries worst hit by ebola, while arranging for travellers to be screened at its own borders. It follows the decision by the US and Britain to begin ebola screening at major airports and in the UK s case at Eurostar rail terminals. Serious concerns remained in Spain over how the virus could have spread in the country s main isolation centre at the Carlos III hospital in Madrid. Healthcare workers told AFP the quarantine floor where 44-year-old nurse Teresa Romero was infected was shut last year as a result of spending cuts. They said it only re-opened for two missionaries flown back from Africa with the disease in August. The condition of Ms Romero, who caught the deadly virus while caring for the pair, has improved and she is talking, according to a medical source cited by the AFP news agency. Three more people are under observation at the Madrid hospital where she is being treated, bringing the number currently being monitored for ebola symptoms to 16. They are a nurse who treated Ms Romero, a hairdresser who served her and a hospital cleaner. Elsewhere, a public building in Paris was briefly evacuated on Thursday when an African man became unwell. Test showed he did not have ebola. In Macedonia people who had come into contact with a Briton who died after exhibiting ebola-like symptoms were quarantined. A Guinean man in Brazil feared to have ebola was also quarantined, but he was later found not to have the virus. The Moroccan government has called for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations to be postponed due to the epidemic. Ebola causes fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and in some cases internal and external bleeding, and is spread by contact and the exchange of bodily fluids.