Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


West Africa Ebola toll tops 600

15 July 2014, 17:33

Geneva - The death toll in West Africa's Ebola outbreak has risen to 603, the World Health Organization (WHO)) said today, with 68 new fatalities mostly in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The UN health agency said the new deaths were recorded between July 8 and 12, and that 52 of them were in Sierra Leone, 13 in Liberia and three in Guinea, which had previously borne the brunt of the outbreak.

The WHO issues regular updates on the outbreak, which is the first ever in west Africa and the deadliest since Ebola was discovered in the 1970s.

"We still have a high level of transmission taking place into the communities," WHO spokesman Daniel Epstein told reporters.

The number of new cases reported over the period was 85, the figures showed.

The total number of laboratory-confirmed, probable or suspected cases of Ebola in the region has now risen to 964, said the WHO.

Although Guinea recorded the lowest number of new cases -- six -- it remains the worst-affected of the three nations.

In total, it has seen 406 cases and 304 deaths since the outbreak began in January.

Sierra Leone reported 49 new cases July 8 and 12, taking its total to 386. Of those, 194 have been fatal.

Liberia's figures showed 30 new cases. That took its case-count to 172 and its death toll to 105.

The WHO and 11 west African health ministers earlier this month held crunch talks to try to combat the outbreak of the incurable disease.

Ebola is a form of haemorrhagic fever which is deadly in up to 90 percent of cases.

It can fell victims within days, causing severe fever and muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhoea and in some cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.

Ebola is believed to be carried by animals hunted for meat, notably bats.

It spreads among humans via bodily fluids including sweat, meaning you can get sick from simply touching an infected person. With no vaccine, patients believed to have caught the virus must be isolated to prevent further contagion.

The WHO, local medical services and international charities have been working flat-out to discourage communities from continuing funeral rights that involve touching dead bodies.

"Our tactic is to get insiders, including religious leaders, community leaders, people respected, who can go into the communities," said Epstein.

He said that was also a key means of quashing rumours about the disease, which continue to circulate.

Ebola first emerged in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, and is named after a river in that country.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...