Dramatic surge in Ebola deaths

Dakar - More than 1 900 people have died in the Ebola epidemic sweeping through West Africa, the head of the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday.

"As of this week, we are reporting 3 500 cases confirmed in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and more than 1 900 deaths - and the outbreak is rising," Margaret Chan told reporters in Washington.

The latest toll represents a significant increase from the 1 552 deaths and 3 069 cases reported by the Geneva-based organisation just days ago.

Speaking at a news conference, Chan said she hoped that, thanks to the global response to the crisis, transmission of the often fatal virus could be stopped in six to nine months.

"With this international response, co-ordinated response, the money is coming, the technical experts are coming, so we hope to stop the transmission in six to nine months," Chan said.

Citing the WHO's roadmap to fight the worst Ebola outbreak in history, she said that in countries with "very intense transmission" - Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia - "we would like to reverse the trend in three months".

She said for countries with "localised transmission" such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal, the WHO "would like to stop all transmission within eight weeks".

Meanwhile, AP reported from Dakar on Wednesday that at least $600m was needed to fight the Ebola outbreak.

The top priority is providing protective gear to health workers in the affected areas and ensuring that they receive hazard pay, said David Nabarro, who is co-ordinating the UN response to the unprecedented outbreak.

Echoing the WHO, American officials on Wednesday warned that Ebola is likely to spread to still more countries.

"This is not an African disease. This is a virus that is a threat to all humanity," Gayle Smith, special assistant to President Barack Obama and senior director at the National Security Council told reporters during a telephone briefing.

The key to solving the outbreak will be implementing measures used in all previous outbreaks: isolating and treating the sick, monitoring their contacts for signs of disease and safely burying the dead, said Tom Kenyon, of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

"There is a window of opportunity, but it's closing with each and every day that we delay in getting measures in place," he said.

Owen Malongo 2014/09/03 10:20:36 PM
I need to know the symptoms when the person he get sick
Waine Smith 2014/09/03 10:30:07 PM
You shyte and cotch yourself to death and blood seeps from your orifices. From what I have read it sounds really nasty
Painted Canvas 2014/09/03 10:32:13 PM
These are countries who deny basic human rights to their citizens. Government is selfish and greedy and now they have a problem and expect the west to help.....sorry....sort out your own mess caused by underspending on education and health.
lskosana3 2014/09/03 10:35:42 PM
This is really terrifying now, SA it's time to stop travel to and from Nigeria as well. I dread the day we hear of a South African case
Rui Obed Muchenga 2014/09/03 11:21:11 PM
God help us
Frankysmashcake 2014/09/03 11:27:06 PM
Stephen King is behind it all.
Raymond Butler 2014/09/04 12:04:44 AM
So? Malaria is cureable and more people die of it
Lucy Afarensis 2014/09/04 12:55:50 AM
It IS an African disease! Because no African government is capable of handling it! And no African population has a clue of what to do, nor does it understand what it is about. Superstition, ignorance and arrogance are the fodder Ebola will thrive on! This is bad, really bad...
Lucy Afarensis 2014/09/04 01:11:21 AM
Africa = Zombieland
Raymond Butler 2014/09/04 03:27:48 AM
Okay I see you missed my point so let me try again we can treat malaria we can treat tb and now that I think about it we can teach our kids to drive cars.... but in the last 6 months more people died from malaria than Ebola, more people died from tb than Ebola and more people died in car crashes than from Ebola in the last 6 months.. My point is Ebola is not this tragic world ending thing. It merely killed about 4000 people? Thats very few compared to the others I mentioned