Ebola outbreak in West Africa is likely far worse than reported
As the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa continues to spread, beds at special treatment centers are filling up faster than health workers can provide them, further evidence that the outbreak is far more severe than previously reported, according to an official with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The outbreak that has been sweeping across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and now even Nigeria, is the largest such outbreak since the virus was discovered almost 40 years ago. New numbers released by the WHO yesterday show and additional 76 deaths and 152 cases from just Tuesday and Wednesday alone. The death toll now stands at 1,145, with a total of 2,127 cases, which means the death rate is about 54%.
However, the United Nations health agency said on Thursday that the official counts of the dead and infected may still “vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak”. A senior doctor who is working at the heart of the outbreak claims that the number of actual cases could be at least 50% higher than has been reported.
Doctors Without Borders has compared situation to a state of war and said that the outbreak could last six more months. Joanne Liu, the medical charity’s international president, told reporters in Geneva on Friday: “We’re running behind a train that is going forward. And it literally is faster than what we’re bringing in terms of a response”.
Read more about the story at The New York Times.