MAJOR OUTBREAK: Ebola outbreak continues to devastate West Africa
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/15/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The death toll from the Ebola outbreak which has been devastating West Africa has risen to 603, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on July 15, with 68 new fatalities in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Ebola is a virus that is spread to humans via contact with infected animals and their meat, such as rats and monkeys. It has a high fatality rate an no known cure.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The WHO said that the new deaths were recorded between July 8 and July 12, and that Sierra Leone was hit hardest with 52 deaths and Liberia suffered 13. Guinea, which previously bore the brunt of the outbreak, suffered only three deaths.
"We still have a high level of transmission taking place into the communities," said WHO spokesman Daniel Epstein.
The total number of laboratory-confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola in the region has now risen to 964, the WHO reported.
Even with the low number of new cases-six-Guinea remains the worst-affected of the three West African nations.
Since the outbreak began in January, there have been 406 cases, and 304 deaths. Sierra Leone reported 49 new cases for the early-to-mid-July period, bringing its total up to 386, of which, 194 have been fatal.
Liberia has 30 new cases, bringing up their count to 172, and their death toll up to 105.
11 West African health ministers met with the WHO in early July to find a method to combat the outbreak of this deadly and incurable disease.
"Our tactic is to get insiders, including religious leaders, community leaders, people respected, who can go into the communities," said Epstein.
Plan International said earlier in July that there had been "a gross misjudgment across the board in gauging the severity and scale of damage the current Ebola outbreak can unleash."
"There are no cases from outside Africa to date. The threat of it spreading though is very much there," said Dr. Unni Krishnan, head of disaster preparedness and response for Plan International.
"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," said Anja Wolz, emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders.
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