Ebola death toll rises to 5,177: WHO

The World Health Organization said Friday that 5,177 people had so far died of Ebola across eight countries, out of a total 14,413 cases of infection, since late December 2013.

On Wednesday, the UN health agency had reported 5,160 deaths and 14,098 cases.

WHO has acknowledged though that the number of deaths is likely far higher, given that the in the current outbreak is known to be around 70 percent.

The deadliest Ebola outbreak ever continues to affect Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone the most.

But the fresh toll came as the spread appeared to be slowing in the capital of Liberia, allowing the hardest-hit country to lift its state of emergency.

In its latest toll, WHO said that through November 10, 2,812 people had died in Liberia, out of 6,878 cases.

That marked fewer than the 2,836 deaths reported through November 9, and WHO explained that the discrepancy was due to a "reclassification" of some deaths, which turned out not to be due to Ebola.

In Sierra Leone, 1,187 people had died as of November 11 out of 5,586 cases, WHO said.

Guinea, where the outbreak began late last year, counted 1,166 deaths and 1,919 cases, also as of November 11.

Data from Mali, the latest country to be hit by Ebola, showed four cases of the deadly virus and three deaths, as of November 13. WHO had put the toll at four on Wednesday, but the agency said one of the deaths had been reclassified.

Data from Nigeria and Senegal remained unchanged, and both countries have been declared Ebola free.

Nigeria had eight deaths and 20 cases, while Senegal had one case and no deaths.

There has been one case of infection in Spain, where an infected nurse has recovered.

In the United States, four Ebola cases have been recorded and one person—a Liberian—had died from the virus.

Ebola, one of the deadliest viruses known to man, is spread only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person showing symptoms such as fever or vomiting.

People caring for the sick or handling the bodies of people infected Ebola are therefore especially exposed.

WHO said Wednesday that a total of 570 healthcare workers were known to have contracted the virus, and 324 of them had died.


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© 2014 AFP

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