The number of people dying in West Africa from the ongoing Ebola outbreak is poised to surpass the total number of people to ever have died from the virus in just 10 days, according to World Health Organization figures. Up until sometime in early 2014, the Ebola virus had killed 1,548 people since being discovered in 1976. As of Monday, Ebola had killed more than 1,350 people across West Africa in the five months since the outbreak was first declared there. Another 1,000 people could be dead by the end of October if the death rate continues at its current pace. Despite an influx of money, materials and personnel, an average of more than 25 people died each day this August in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, according to the latest WHO figures. That rate has nearly doubled since July, when 13 people on average died each day. Doctors Without Borders officials said it “can’t speculate on numbers and outbreak patterns,” but President Joanne Liu said last week her organization and others will need to remain in the region for at least “six months, and I’m being, I would say, very optimistic.” Even more troubling, the ongoing crisis might be underestimated by as much as 20 percent, because many deaths and infections go unreported, either out of fear or denial, or because those infected live in hard-to-reach rural areas, Joseph Fair, a special adviser to Sierra Leone’s Health Ministry, told NPR. MORE
Never Miss A Headline!
Subscribe to our daily digest! Sign up FREE today.