More than 2,900 people have died since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the World Health Organization said, and it will continue to rise in the coming weeks even as situations in other areas deteriorate.
The Wall Street Journal reports, as of September 21, there have been 6,263 people infected with the deadly virus, 2,917 of whom have died in three West African countries, namely: Guinea, Sierra Leone, and the hardest hit country, Liberia.
There have been reports of a significant decrease in Ebola cases in Sierra Leone despite the increase in the capital city of Freetown. However, the WHO said they have to further verify these accuracy of the reports and “to confirm whether this fall is genuine”, particularly in the cities of Kailahun and Kenema.
The WHO also questioned the authenticity of the reports of the apparent decline of cases in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, which had experienced a spike of cases in the previous weeks.
“These data differ from credible reports obtained from responders in Liberia, who indicate a deterioration of the situation in the country, and in Monrovia in particular,” the WHO said.
Meanwhile, health experts warned of higher death tolls from various infectious diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia as the outbreak crippled and crushed health systems in the said countries, Reuters says.
Specialists said deaths from malaria alone, which kills more than 100,000 people in West Africa yearly before the outbreak–can increase four fold.
Professor Chris Whitty of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said “collateral deaths” particularly of heart diseases and complications during childbirth, will increase as hospitals and clinics become overwhelmed with cases of Ebola infections.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”–Professor Chris Whitty” author_title=”London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine”]
Many more people are dying of other things that are not Ebola,