UN: More than 16,000 sick with Ebola

Pakistan Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

More than 16,000 peo­ple have been in­fected with Ebola and nearly 7,000 have died, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures from the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The new death toll, re­leased late Fri­day by the UN agency, rep­re­sents an in­crease of more than 1,000 deaths since a re­port from two days be­fore. Most of the new deaths were recorded in Liberia, but the new toll likely in­cludes deaths that have gone un­re­ported over a sig­nif­i­cant pe­riod of time.

Data from the out­break has been spotty and slow to come and of­ten death and case tolls see large jumps when back­logs of in­for­ma­tion are cleared. Be­cause the data is so hard to come by, the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion has cau­tioned that its fig­ures may sig­nif­i­cantly un­der­re­port the ac­tual num­ber of peo­ple

sick­ened and killed by the dis­ease.

The cur­rent out­break be­gan in West Africa and has been se­verely hit­ting three coun­tries there: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Fri­day’s data showed there have been 16,169 cases in just those three coun­tries — an in­crease of 268 cases since a re­port two days ear­lier. There have also been around three dozen cases else­where. Most re­cently, Mali be­gan record­ing in­fec­tions after sick peo­ple crossed over from neigh­bor­ing Guinea.

The num­bers of peo­ple sick­ened and killed in this out­break ex­ceed by sev­eral mag­ni­tudes any pre­vi­ous out­break of Ebola, which pre­vi­ously broke out in re­mote ar­eas of east and cen­tral Africa. This time, how­ever, it be­gan in a highly mo­bile re­gion, where Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone meet, and quickly hopped to those coun­tries’ cap­i­tals.

Liberia has recorded the high­est num­ber of cases and deaths, but the rate of in­fec­tion is slow­ing there. The dis­ease is now spread­ing fastest in Sierra Leone.—AP

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