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Over 20,000 infected with Ebola virus in the world — WHO

December 29, 2014, 21:02 UTC+3 GENEVA
Ebola virus death toll has reached 7,842
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© EPA/JAVIER BELVER

GENEVA, December 29. /TASS/. The death toll from the current Ebola outbreak has reached 7,842. As many as 20,081 are infected, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

The most serious situation is reported from Liberia, with 3,413 deaths. Sierra Leone has the biggest number of infected - 9,409. In Guinea, 1,697 deaths and 2,695 cases are registered.

The number of Ebola deaths in these three countries rose by 149 since December 26.

The deadly Ebola virus outbreak started in Guinea in February spreading to the other countries in West Africa. On August 8 the WHO announced the spread of the Ebola virus is an international health emergency.

The Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) was first reported in 1976 in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and got its name from the river near which the first outbreak occurred.

The WHO describes Ebola virus disease as “a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%.” Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.

The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. The incubation period is 2 to 21 days.

There is no known cure or vaccine for the disease. The only treatment offered is “supportive intensive care.” During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients.

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