Ebola claims more victims in West Africa

World Health Organisation records 44 new cases and 21 deaths in region between July 6 and 8, taking total dead to 539.

    Ebola claims more victims in West Africa
    Ebola continues to spread in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, according to the WHO [Reuters]

    Ebola continues to spread in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, with a combined 44 new cases and 21 deaths between July 6 and 8, the World Health Organisation has said.

    This brought the total in West Africa's first outbreak of the deadly disease to 888 cases, including 539 deaths since February. It is the largest and deadliest so far, the UN agency said.

    "The epidemic trend in Liberia and Sierra Leone remains precarious with high numbers of new cases and deaths being reported," the WHO said on Friday.

    Just one confirmed new case had been reported during the past week in Guinea.

    The Economic Community of West African States set up an Ebola solidarity fund at a summit in the capital of Ghana on Thursday in a bid to back a regional approach to the epidemic. Nigeria committed $3.5m to affected states.

    "We must do everything within our means and power to defeat this deadly disease. We must exercise vigilance and caution and avoid any panic or misinformation," Ghanaian President John Mahama, the group's chairman, said in a speech in Accra.

    Ebola causes fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhoea and kills up to 90 percent of those infected. It is highly contagious and is transmitted through contact with blood and other fluids.

    The WHO has flagged three main factors driving its spread: the burial of victims in accordance with tradition, the dense populations around the capital cities of Guinea and Liberia and the bustling cross-border trade across the region.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel.