Ebola Deaths Near 5,500 As Virus Still Rages…”the actual count could be between two and four times the WHO numbers.”

Friday, November 21, 2014
By Paul Martin

Rate of Transmission Intense in Three West African Countries

By Andrew Morse
Nov. 21, 2014

ZURICH—Nearly 5,500 people have died from Ebola, the World Health Organization said Friday, adding that the rate of transmission remains intense in the three West African countries at the center of the epidemic.

In an update, the United Nations health agency said 15,351 confirmed, suspected or probable cases of Ebola had been reported in eight countries that have been affected by the disease. Most of the cases were concentrated in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A total of 5,459 people have died of Ebola since the outbreak began, the WHO said. On Wednesday, the WHO reported 15,145 cases and 5,420 deaths.

The update came on the same day the WHO declared the Democratic Republic of Congo free of the disease after the country went 42 days—twice Ebola’s 21-day incubation period—without reporting a new case. The outbreak in the DRC, which is separate from the epidemic in West Africa, killed a total of 49 people.

Also on Friday, a Cuban doctor infected with the Ebola virus arrived in Switzerland from West Africa for treatment. The doctor is being treated at a Geneva hospital at the request of the WHO.

Ebola’s true overall toll is difficult to gauge because some hard-hit villages are remote and urban centers have showed resistance toward clinics. The WHO has said its count may greatly underestimate the toll and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said it believes the actual count could be between two and four times the WHO numbers.

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