Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WHO Says Ebola Death Toll Is Now Over 2,000 With Thousands More Cases Expected in Liberia

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The death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak in history has risen to at least 2,296 out of 4,293 cases in five West African countries, the World Health Organization said Tuesday September 9th. The director of WHO’s department of pandemic and epidemic diseases, Sylvie Briand, said this in Geneva;

"We know that the numbers are under-estimated. We are currently working to estimate the under-estimation. It’s a war against this virus. It’s a very difficult war. What we try now is to win some battles at least in some places.” 

The death toll, according to WHO, jumped by almost 200 in a single day and the figure was as of September 6th. WHO also said it did not have new figures for Liberia, the worst-affected country so far, suggesting the real number is higher than 2,296.

Meanwhile, the WHO has also predicted that Liberia would see thousands of new cases of Ebola virus in coming weeks as the virus was spreading exponentially.

It said it would take more than nine months to contain and there was possibility of the virus infecting more than 20,000 people before the time.

It said in Liberia the disease has already killed 1,089 people.

“Transmission of the Ebola virus in Liberia is already intense and the number of new cases is increasing exponentially,” it said.

“The number of new cases is moving far faster than the capacity to manage them in Ebola-specific treatment centres,” it added.

WHO said as soon as a new Ebola treatment centre was opened, it immediately overflows with patients.

“In Monrovia, taxis filled with entire families, of whom some members are thought to be infected with the Ebola virus, crisscross the city, searching for a treatment bed,” it said.

It said the WHO investigative team estimated that 1,000 beds are urgently needed for Ebola patients, as motorbike-taxis and regular taxis have become “a hot source” of Ebola transmission.

Liberia’s government announced that it was extending a nationwide night time curfew imposed last month to curb the spread of the disease.

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