The World Health Organization (WHO) says the number of Ebola infections in West Africa is doubling every four weeks despite efforts to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Isabelle Nuttall, the director of the WHO’s Global Capacities, Alert and Response, announced on Thursday that 9,000 people have so far been infected with Ebola, adding that the death toll from the disease will rise to more than 4,500 this week.
“Our data shows that cases are doubling every four weeks. The disease is still widespread in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and there is persistent transmission of the virus,” she said.
Fresh figures indicate the outbreak is hitting health workers hard, with 2,700 infected and 236 dead, added Nuttal.
The senior WHO official further pledged that the organization would enhance its support for the Ebola-hit countries, saying it might take months before the outbreak is stopped.
She added that efforts should remain focused on the three West African countries, namely Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where the outbreak has been spreading out of control.
The UN Security Council has called on the international community to step up efforts to control the spread of the deadly virus.
Ebola is a form of hemorrhagic fever whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding. The virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces or sweat.
It can be also spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses. There is currently no known cure for Ebola.
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