West Africa Ebola outbreak
Government health workers administer blood tests to check for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra LeoneReuters

Hundreds of people are presently under surveillance in Liberia following the sudden outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa, increasing the monitoring costs in the country.

In the last two days alone, four fresh cases have been reported – two each in Lofa and Montserrado, with no deaths being reported so far.

"Before then, we were monitoring some 50 persons; but now under surveillance there are some 433 persons that need to be monitored, and monitoring these people costs a lot, while putting in place logistics in other counties that are not yet affected require a lot of funding," said Senator Peter Coleman, who is chairing the Senate's Committee on Health.

To deal with the latest outbreak, the lawmaker said Liberia's health ministry needs about $1.5 million (£875,450) from the government's budget. The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has also launched a solidarity fund to combat the spread.

We still have no idea how many villages are affected. I'm afraid we've only seen the tip of the iceberg
- Anja Wolz, an aid worker in Sierra Leone

The proposal has come alongside the World Health Organisation (WHO) report which points to a sharp rise in the number of cases affected by the Ebola virus reported in western African countries such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The outbreak is expected to worsen in the coming weeks as the African countries are still working to find the exact extent of the spread of the virus while struggling to cope with managing the crisis.

In Sierra Leone, where there have been 337 confirmed cases, Anja Wolz, an emergency coordinator at the humanitarian aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said: "We're under massive time pressure: the longer it takes to find and follow up with people who have come in contact with sick people, the more difficult it will be to control the outbreak. We still have no idea how many villages are affected. I'm afraid we've only seen the tip of the iceberg."

The latest spread of the virus in the western African region is unprecedented in terms of the geographical area sweeping across nations.

Ebola is an extremely deadly virus with a killing ratio of about 90%. Causing diarrhoea and internal bleeding, the virus weakens the functions of the kidney and the liver eventually leading to death.