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Ebola still rampant as toll nears 4 000

09 October 2014, 09:11

Geneva - The worst Ebola outbreak on record has killed 3 879 people out of 8 033 cases by the end of 5 October, with no evidence that the epidemic was being brought under control in West Africa, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday.

The situation in Liberia continued to deteriorate, with a recorded death toll of 2 210 so far and 200 suspected or probable new cases in Monrovia in each of the past three weeks, and the reappearance of Ebola in Grand Cape Mount District for the first time in three weeks, it said.

A reported fall in the number of new cases in Liberia was unlikely to be genuine, rather caused by overwhelmed staff failing to record accurate data.

Assessing the scale of the problem was hindered by "widespread under-reporting of new cases" and "profound problems with data acquisition", the WHO said.

In Sierra Leone, the capital Freetown and three neighbouring districts had all reported a surge of cases in the past seven or eight weeks, and the country now had 879 recorded Ebola deaths.

Also read: Kenya's medics decry Ebola response

However, declines in Ebola cases in Liberia's Lofa district and in Kailahun and Kenema in Sierra Leone appeared to be genuine, the WHO said.

But neighbouring countries have been told to prepare for the disease to spread across their borders, and the epidemic has spread eastwards towards Ivory Coast with the first three cases reported in the district of Lola in Guinea, the WHO said.

Ivory Coast has opened an isolation centre at Bouaké University Hospital, a UN statement said on Tuesday.

Although Liberia had opened a new Ebola treatment centre, it still had only 21% of the 2 930 bed spaces it needed. Sierra Leone had 26% of a required 1 148 bed spaces.

The WHO's update also included 8 deaths and 20 cases in Nigeria as well as one case each in Senegal and the United States.

- Reuters


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