Pope Francis has made an impassioned appeal for those being tormented by the deadly Ebola virus.

Speaking to faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square toward the conclusion of his weekly General Audience today, the Holy Father expressed his closeness to those suffering and called on the international community to put in place every necessary effort to eradicate the virus.

“Facing the worsening of the epidemic of Ebola,” the Holy Father said, “I wish to express my deep concern about this relentless disease that is spreading, especially on the African continent, especially among disadvantaged groups."

The Argentine Pontiff expressed his affection and prayers for those affected, as well as doctors, nurses, volunteers, religious institutions and associations, who, he noted, are “working heroically to help our brothers and sisters who are sick.”

“I renew my appeal,” he continued, “that the international community will make all necessary efforts to eradicate this virus, to effectively alleviate the hardships and sufferings.”

Concluding, Pope Francis invited those gathered in the Square to pray for those suffering and for those who have lost their lives.

The outbreak of the virus in West Africa is the deadliest to date. The WHO has declared an international health emergency as it has claimed more than 3,800 lives in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria this year.

Added to this, it is appearing in other continents, including North America, with cases in New York and Texas. It is not expected to spread beyond isolated cases in well-developed nations. However, countries with poor health care infrastructure are being overcome by the epidemic.