World Health Organization: Ebola Cases In Africa Top 10,000
The World Health Organization has upped the number of people known to be infected with Ebola in Africa to over 10,000:
GENEVA — The number of people infected with Ebola in three West African countries has exceeded 10,000, the World Health Organization reported Saturday.
A total of 10,141 people had contracted the disease worldwide, the organization said in its latest update on the progress of the epidemic, and the number reported to have died rose to 4,922. The W.H.O. acknowledged that its figures understated the reality of Ebola’s spread.
All but 27 of the infections and all but three of the deaths have occurred in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to report.
A fourth country, Mali, has reported its first confirmed Ebola case, the death of a 2-year-old child from the disease on Friday.
The group said it was treating the situation as an emergency because the child was displaying symptoms when he rode hundreds of miles by public bus from neighboring Guinea, which presented “multiple opportunities for exposures — including high-risk exposures — involving many people.”
Malian authorities have isolated 43 people, including 10 health care workers who had contact with the child in the town of Kayes, where she was taken for treatment, the W.H.O. said.
But the authorities face the daunting task of tracing other people who were exposed to the child during her lengthy journey, which included a stopover of several hours in Mali’s capital, Bamako.
Mali, one of Africa’s poorest nations, had appeared to be highly vulnerable to a spillover of the Ebola virus from neighboring countries still struggling to contain the epidemic, which began nine months ago. It has limited infrastructure and a fragile central government weakened by years of internal conflict.
Once again, this demonstrates the importance of fighting the battle against Ebola in western Africa.