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August 7th, 2014
05:47 AM ET

A Worried World Watches as Ebola Death Toll Rises; Liberia Declares Emergency

A nurse in Nigeria. A businessman in Saudi Arabia. A Spanish priest in Liberia.

With the World Health Organization announcing Wednesday that 932 deaths had been reported or confirmed as a result of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, Saudi Arabia joined the list of countries with suspected cases.

"This is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said.

Nearly all of those deaths have been in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where more than 1,700 cases have been reported, according to WHO. The agency said 108 new cases were reported between Saturday and Monday in those countries and Nigeria.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has declared a state of emergency for 90 days because of the deadly outbreak, her office announced Wednesday.

"The scope and scale of the epidemic, the virulence and deadliness of the virus now exceed the capacity and statutory responsibility of any one government agency or ministry," she said in a written statement. "The government and people of Liberia require extraordinary measures for the very survival of our state and for the protection of the lives of our people."

She said Ebola is a "clear and present danger."

Concerns about the spread of the deadly virus escalated with Saudi Arabia reporting that a man died, apparently of the virus, after a trip to Sierra Leone, and Nigeria reported that a nurse died after treating someone believed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia.

WHO did not immediately confirm the deaths, and its count of Ebola cases does not include the two.

The Saudi man died Wednesday at a specialized hospital in Jeddah, the Saudi Ministry of Health said.

He had been in intensive care since late Monday "after exhibiting symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fever following a business trip to Sierra Leone," the ministry said in a statement.

The nurse in Nigeria had helped care for Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American man, who died in Nigeria after traveling there from Liberia, Nigeria's Ministry of Health said Wednesday.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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