The UN says the ebola outbreak must be controlled within 60 days or else the world faces an “unprecedented” situation for which there is no plan.
The United Nations made the stark warning as it warned the disease “is running faster than us and it is winning the race”.
Nearly 9,000 cases of ebola have been reported so far in West Africa, including 4,447 deaths.
“The WHO advises within 60 days we must ensure 70% of infected people are in a care facility and 70% of burials are done without causing further infection,” said Anthony Banbury, the UN’s deputy ebola coordinator.
“We need to do that within 60 days from 1 October. If we reach these targets then we can turn this epidemic around.”
He urged: “We either stop ebola now or we face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we do not have a plan.”
The UN’s Unmeer emergency mission is following a four-pronged plan to fight ebola.
Identify and trace contacts; manage cases; ensure safe burials and provide people with information to protect themselves.
“If we fail at any of these, we fail entirely,” warned Mr Banbury.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier said there could be 10,000 new cases of ebola per week within two months.
He said the death rate from the current outbreak had risen to 70% from about 50%.
When asked how the situation could develop in the next two months, he warned: “We anticipate the number of cases occurring per week by that time to be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 per week.
“It could be higher, it could be lower, but somewhere in that ball park.”
Some 95% of the cases are occurring in the same limited number of districts of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea which were affected a month ago, he said.
Dr Aylward said it was “too early to say” whether this meant that the epidemic was slowing down.
Dr Aylward said there were “positive” signs of a slow down in the rate of new cases in northern Liberia and Guinea, probably due to behaviour changes among the local population.
But he warned: “This is ebola, this is a horrible, unforgiving disease – you’ve got to get to zero.
“With a bit of change in the behaviour of populations, with some burials happening safely, with a little bit more case management and a couple of new centres opening, you are going to slow this down very quickly.”
Gold Goliath is not your typical gold dealer.