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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.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Unmentioned in the excerpt above is that (again, as reported by the WHO) the daily infection rate in the three most-affected countries has declined to .5%—the lowest since the outbreak began there.

    That’s a positive sign and we can only hope that it continues. It’s too early to determine whether it marks a trend or not. However, we shouldn’t lose track of the reality that the number of infections per day continues to rise.

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  2. Stonetools says:

    I just watched the President give his weekly address. He sounded calm, rational, and level headed. He noted that apart from Duncan, all the people who have treated for Ebola have recovered and that Ebola is actually hard to catch. He said that the focus of the fight is actually in West Africa and that countries like Senegal and Nigeria have actually stopped the disease in their tracks. He closed with an appeal for all to follow the science and to engage in science based thinking . He continued to refuse to pander to the media based hysteria about Ebola, although he could have exploited it for political gain.
    I have never been prouder of my President.

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