GENEVA, December 10. The number of people killed by the Ebola virus has nearly reached 6,400 people, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement Wednesday.
“A total of 17 942 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in five affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and the United States of America) and three previously affected countries (Nigeria, Senegal and Spain) up to the end of 7 December. There have been 6388 reported deaths,” the WHO’s report said.
“Reported case incidence is slightly increasing in Guinea (103 confirmed and probable cases reported in the week to 7 December), declining in Liberia (29 new confirmed cases in the 3 days to 3 December), and may still be increasing in Sierra Leone (397 new confirmed cases in the week to 7 December),” the report said.
“The case fatality rate across the three most-affected countries in all reported cases with a recorded definitive outcome is 76%; in hospitalized patients the case fatality rate is 61%,” it said.
In line with statistics, the maximum number of Ebola-related deaths and cases is registered in Liberia – 3,177 deaths and 7,719 cumulative cases. Liberia is followed by Sierra Leone (1,768 deaths and 7,897 cases) and Guinea (1,428 and 2,292 respectively).
The Ebola virus disease, previously known as the Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe illness in humans, often fatal, according to the WHO. The virus is passed on to people from wild animals and can be transmitted from humans to humans. The average EVD case death rate is some 50%.
The first outbreaks of the EVD occurred in remote Central African villages, near tropical rainforests. However, major urban and rural areas have been involved in the most recent outbreak in western Africa.
Early supportive care, which includes rehydration and symptomatic treatment, improves the survival rate.
No licensed treatment has yet been proven to be able to neutralize the virus but a number of blood, immunological and drug medications are under development. There are no licensed Ebola vaccines yet but two candidates are being evaluated.