The Ebola outbreak in West Africa which has already killed 4,447 people this year can still claim up to 10,000 lives per week in the next two months, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said in Geneva recently.
Dr Bruce Aylward, the WHO assistant director-general said that 4,000 new cases in the past four weeks including suspected, confirmed and probable cases have come up. The present number of probable and suspected cases stands at 8,914.
The Ebola virus causes sudden fever, intensive weakness, muscle pain and sore throat followed by diarrhea, vomiting and in some cases both internal and external bleeding. The virus infects humans from close contact to infected animals which include chimpanzees, forest antelope and fruit bats. It spreads among humans by direct contact with infected blood, fluids and organs. Even health workers treating victims are at a risk of contracting the disease.
Aylward said WHO has got plans to isolate 70 per cent of the cases within a period of next two months to control the outbreak and reverse the process. He said, emphasizing that providing protective equipment to families and setting up very basic clinics would also be their priority.
The agency is still trying to treat Ebola patients, despite the huge demands on the broken health systems in West Africa. Aylward noted that though certain areas are recording a decrease in the number infections though it doesn’t mean they will get to zero.
The places Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have been the hardest hit. The organization expressed concern about the spread of this deadly disease named Ebola in the capital cities of Freetown, Monrovia and Conakry.