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ebola death toll
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the number of people killed in the Ebola outbreak has risen above 4,000.
The latest figures show there have been 8,376 cases and 4,024 deaths in the worst-affected West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The news comes as Liberian lawmakers refused to grant the president additional powers to deal with the Ebola crisis.
Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has already declared a state of emergency that allows her to impose quarantines.
The number of people killed in the Ebola outbreak has risen above 4,000 (photo AFP)
One parliamentarian, Bhofal Chambers, warned that creeping extra powers could turn Liberia into a “police state”.
The total death toll of 4,033 includes the death of a Liberian man in the US, Thomas Eric Duncan, this week and the eight people who died in Nigeria, where health authorities say they have now contained the virus.
The UN says more than 233 health workers working in West Africa have now died in the outbreak, the world’s deadliest to date.
Spanish nurse Teresa Romero is being treated for the virus after becoming infected after an Ebola patient who had been repatriated from Liberia – the country most badly hit by the disease with 2,316 deaths.
According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has passed 3,000.
The latest figures indicate that more than 6,500 people are believed to have been infected in the region.
Liberia is the worst affected country, having recorded around 1,830 deaths linked to the latest outbreak.
The Ebola outbreak is the world’s most deadly and President Barack Obama has called it a “threat to global security”.
Some studies have warned that the numbers of infected could rise to more than 20,000 by early November.
The WHO report said two new areas, in Guinea and Liberia, have recorded their first confirmed cases of Ebola in the last seven days.
It also highlights the risk of infection for health workers trying to stem the outbreak.
The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has passed 3,000
It says 375 workers are known to have been infected, and that 211 have so far died from the virus.
The deaths and sickness have made it even more difficult for the already weak healthcare systems in the affected countries to cope with the outbreak.
There is a severe shortage of hospital beds, especially in Liberia.
The US is sending some 3,000 troops to help Liberia tackle the disease, and set up emergency medical facilities.
Sierra Leone last weekend enforced a three-day lockdown in an attempt to quell the outbreak in the country.
During the curfew more than a million households were surveyed and 130 new cases discovered, the authorities say.
On September 24, Sierra Leone extended the quarantine area to three new districts, meaning more than a third of the country’s six million people cannot move freely.
Some 600 people have died in Sierra Leone and a similar number in Guinea, where the outbreak was first confirmed in March.
Nigeria and Senegal, two other West Africa countries that have also been affected by the Ebola outbreak, have not recorded any new cases or deaths in the last few weeks, the latest WHO report says.
According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed 2,288 people, with half of them dying in the last three weeks.
The WHO said that 47% of the deaths and 49% of the total 4,269 cases had come in the 21 days leading up to September 6.
It also warned that thousands more cases could occur in Liberia, which has had the most fatalities.
The Ebola outbreak, which was first reported in Guinea in March this year, has also spread to Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
In Nigeria, eight people have died out of 21 cases, while one case of Ebola has been confirmed in Senegal, the WHO said in its latest update.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed 2,288 people, with half of them dying in the last three weeks
On Monday, the agency called on organizations combating the outbreak in Liberia to scale up efforts to control the outbreak “three-to-four fold”.
Ebola spreads between humans by direct contact with infected blood, bodily fluids or organs, or indirectly through contact with contaminated environments.
However, the WHO says conventional means of controlling the outbreak, which include avoiding close physical contact with those infected and wearing personal protective equipment, were not working well in Liberia.
Meanwhile, the US says it will help the African Union mobilize 100 African health workers to the region and contribute an additional $10 million in funds to deal with the outbreak.
The announcement comes as a fourth US aid worker infected with the deadly virus was transported to a hospital in Atlanta for treatment.
Two other aid workers who were treated at the same hospital have since recovered from an Ebola infection.
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More than 1,900 people have now died in West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
WHO head Margaret Chan said there were 3,500 confirmed or probable cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
“The outbreaks are racing ahead of the control efforts in these countries,” she said.
On September 4, the WHO is holding a meeting to examine the most promising treatments and to discuss how to fast track their testing and production.
Disease control experts, medical researchers, officials from affected countries, and specialists in medical ethics will all be represented at the meeting in Geneva.
The WHO has previously warned that more than 20,000 people could be infected before the outbreak of the virus is brought under control.
Margaret Chan described the outbreak as “the largest and most severe and most complex we have ever seen”.
More than 1,900 people have now died in West Africa’s Ebola outbreak
“No one, even outbreak responders with experience dating back to 1976, to 1995, people that were directly involved with those outbreaks, none of them have ever seen anything like it,” she said.
At least 40% of the deaths have occurred in three weeks leading up to September 3, the WHO says.
Yesterday Nigeria reported two further cases in the city of Port Harcourt.
There had previously only been one case outside the city of Lagos, where five people have died from the virus.
“The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt has the potential to grow larger and spread faster than the one in Lagos,” the WHO warned.
Also on September 3, the first British person to contract Ebola during the outbreak was discharged from hospital after making a full recovery.
On September 2, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warned that a global military intervention was needed to combat the outbreak.
MSF condemned the global response so far as “lethally inadequate” and said the world was “losing the battle” to contain the outbreak.
It has called for military and civilian teams capable of dealing with a biological disaster to be deployed immediately, as well as for more field hospitals with isolation wards to be set up, trained healthcare workers to be sent to the region and air support to move patients and medics across West Africa.
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According to the World Health Organization, the scale of the Ebola outbreak appears to be “vastly underestimated”, as the death toll from the disease reaches 1,069.
The WHO said its staff had seen evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths do not reflect the scale of the crisis.
The UN health agency said in a statement that “extraordinary measures” were needed.
The outbreak began in Guinea in February and has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
However, the WHO said the risk of transmission of Ebola during air travel remained low, as the disease is not airborne.
As a consequence, Kenya Airways has rejected pressure to suspend its flights to the Ebola-hit states of West Africa.
The Ebola virus death toll reaches 1,069 in West Africa (photo AP)
The WHO said the outbreak was expected to continue “for some time”.
“Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak,” its statement said.
“WHO is co-ordinating a massive scaling up of the international response.”
Part of the challenge was the fact that the outbreak was in “settings characterized by extreme poverty, dysfunctional health systems, a severe shortage of doctors and rampant fear”, the WHO added.
Two people have died in Nigeria after drinking a salt solution rumored to prevent Ebola infection.
Text messages began circulating in Nigeria towards the end of last week recommending that people drink and bath in a salt solution as a way to stop getting the virus, for which there is no cure or vaccine.
Despite the health minister scotching the rumor, many people have been admitted into hospital after drinking salt water.
Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is infected.
Initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external hemorrhaging from areas such as eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure.
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