Ebola death toll passes 10,000 – WHO
GENEVA, Switzerland – The global death toll from the Ebola outbreak centered in west Africa has topped 10,000 out of more than 24,000 recorded cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday, March 12.
Almost all the deaths and cases have been reported in the 3 west African countries worst hit by the outbreak: Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
There have also been six deaths in Mali, one in the United States and eight in Nigeria, all of which have since been declared Ebola-free.
Spain and Senegal, which have also been declared free of Ebola, had one case each but no deaths.
The WHO on Wednesday said the fight against Ebola was "going in the right direction".
Sierra Leone, which has overtaken Liberia as the country with the most infections, counted 11,677 cases and 3,655 deaths as of March 10.
As of March 5, Liberia – long the hardest-hit country – had recorded a total of 9,343 and 4,162 deaths.
But the tide seems to be turning in the country which in August and September was reporting more than 300 new cases each week, with the WHO saying Wednesday that Liberia had registered no new cases since February 19.
Liberia's last confirmed Ebola patient was discharged from hospital after testing negative for the virus for the second time on March 3, the UN body said.
That means Liberia started its 42-day, or two incubation-period, countdown towards being considered Ebola free on March 4.
In Guinea, where the outbreak started in December 2013, 3,330 Ebola cases and 2,187 deaths were recorded as of March 10.
The WHO said on Wednesday that the country had seen no new cases in the previous 10 days.
Ebola, one of the deadliest viruses known to man, is spread only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person showing symptoms such as fever or vomiting.
People caring for the sick or handling the bodies of people infected with Ebola are especially exposed.
As of January 4, a total of 838 healthcare workers were known to have contracted the virus, and 495 of them had died, the WHO said. – Rappler.com