I have forgotten about this health crisis in west Africa. But, surprisingly, it is still active even though it began five months ago.
The death toll in west Africa’s three-nation Ebola outbreak has risen to 337, the World Health Organisation said Wednesday, making it the deadliest ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever.
Fresh data from the UN health agency showed that the number of deaths in Guinea, the hardest-hit country, has reached 264, while 49 had died in Sierra Leone and 24 in Liberia.
The new toll marks a more than 60-percent hike since the WHO’s last figure on June 4, when it said 208 people had succumbed to the deadly virus.
The WHO says the sharply higher number of deaths in recent weeks doesn’t mean the virus is spreading faster. Rather, it is due to heightened surveillance and identification of deaths due to the virus. Many of the newly identified deaths occurred weeks ago, and were determined by retrospective examination.
The medical relief organization, Doctors Without Borders, looks at the numbers in a more negative light.
Marie-Christine Ferir, emergency programmes coordinator at Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the data showed a “fresh outbreak because there have been new cases” in Guinea.
“We are facing a second peak of the epidemic,” she said, adding that the fact that infected cases were not being isolated is complicating efforts at containing the outbreak.
MSF has frequently disagreed with official assessments from the WHO regarding this outbreak.