Ebola cases pass 10,000
More than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola and nearly half of them have died, according to figures released yesterday by the World Health Organisation (WHO), as the outbreak continues to spread.
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the largest-ever outbreak of the disease with a rapidly rising death toll in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There have also been cases in three other West African countries, Spain and the United States.
The United Nations health agency said yesterday that the number of confirmed, probable and suspected cases has risen to 10,141. Of those cases, 4,922 people have died. Its figures show about 200 new cases since the last report, four days ago.
SHORTAGE OF LABS
Even those grisly tolls are likely an underestimate, WHO has warned, as many people in the hardest hit countries have been unable or too frightened to seek medical care. A shortage of labs capable of handling potentially infected blood samples has also made it difficult to track the outbreak. For example, the latest numbers show no change in Liberia's case toll, suggesting the numbers may be lagging behind reality.
Meanwhile, some people in Ghana were worried that a strike by health-care workers that began last Friday could leave the country vulnerable to Ebola. Ghana does not border any country with reported cases, but it is serving as the headquarters for the UN mission on Ebola.