Africa Ebola Health

Ebola Death Toll Passes 1,900

By Staff Reporter

More than 1 900 people have died after they contracted the deadly Ebola fever virus since the outbreak began in West Africa earlier this year, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday. According to the latest statistics, over 40% of the deaths have occurred in three weeks leading up to 3 September.

“The outbreaks are racing ahead of the control efforts in these countries,” warned WHO chief Margaret Chan.

Chan said the outbreak was “the largest and most severe and most complex we have ever seen.”

“No-one, even outbreak responders with experience dating back to 1976, to 1995, people that were directly involved in those outbreaks, none of them have ever seen anything like it”

There have been 3 500 confirmed or suspected cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since March.

The organisation will meet with various disease control experts, medical researchers, officials from affected countries and specialists in medical ethnics later on Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland. They are expected to discuss promising treatments and fast-tracking testing and production.

According to WHO, at least $600 million (about R6.4 billion) is needed to fight the virus.

The organisation added another 20 000 people could be infected before the outbreak is brought under control.

Ebola is spread through contact with bodily fluids of infected patients. It kills between 50% and 90% of its victims.

-SABC

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