TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

U.N. fears 20,000 will be infected with Ebola

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Los Angeles Times
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, 8:00 p.m.
 

In a grim assessment, the United Nations health agency said on Thursday that the world's worst Ebola outbreak continues to accelerate and could infect more than 20,000 people before it is brought under control.

More than 3,000 suspected and confirmed cases have been reported in four West African countries, and at least 1,552 people have died, according to figures released by the World Health Organization. But the actual number of cases in the areas of intense transmission could be two to four times those reported, WHO said.

“This far outstrips any historic Ebola outbreak in numbers,” Dr. Bruce Aylward, the organization's assistant director general for emergency operations, told reporters in Geneva. “The largest outbreak in the past was about 400 cases.”

The disease has typically surfaced in remote forest villages and killed most of its victims before it could spread very far. This is the first time an outbreak has extended to four countries, including densely populated urban areas.

More than 40 percent of the cases have occurred in the last three weeks, although most are concentrated in only a few localities, WHO said. The fatality rate is 52 percent, lower than in previous outbreaks.

The outbreak began in Guinea in March and spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. A separate Ebola outbreak has killed at least 13 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo but is not believed to be related to the infections in West Africa.

There is no vaccine or cure for the disease, which is spread through contact with infected bodily fluids.

WHO's assessment was contained in a roadmap that aims to stop Ebola transmission in the affected countries within six to nine months and to prevent it from spreading internationally. The strategy is expected to cost about $489 million and will need at least 750 international and 12,000 local health workers to implement, The Associated Press reported.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Polish official ‘convinced’ Nazi mystery train exists
  2. Iraqi army loses 2 generals in suicide bombing
  3. Suicide bomber kills wife, 2 kids in Pakistan police raid
  4. 5 killed in western India as demonstrators riot
  5. Merkel draws jeers in German town where police were attacked in anti-migrant violence
  6. Attack on NATO convoy in Afghan capital kills 3 Americans
  7. Hezbollah support deepens trash crisis in Lebanon
  8. Lion kills safari guide in park where Cecil lived
  9. Greece to hold election next month as PM tackles dissent
  10. South Koreans lob dozens of shells at North Korea
  11. Japan considers cheaper gifts for centenarians