The Ebola epidemic may worsen significantly with the rate of infection soaring to 10,000 new cases each week within the next two months unless drastic action is taken, according to the World Health Organization.
This number is about 10 times higher than the current infection rate, ABC News reported. WHO Assistant Director General Dr. Bruce Aylward said the infection rate can easily get this high unless action is taken now, adding that “a lot more people will die.”
According to Aylward, there have been approximately 1,000 new cases each week for the past month. WHO’s current plan of action is based around containing the spread of the virus by isolating around 70% of the cases over the next two months. WHO is also focusing on treatment, despite strained health care systems in West Africa, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Aylward said that there is no evidence any country is hiding cases of Ebola, but countries bordering affected countries in West Africa, such as the Ivory Coast and Mali, are at a high risk of getting new cases.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Dr. Bruce Aylward” author_title=”WHO Assistance Director General”]
This is not a virus that’s easy to suppress or hide. I don’t expect this virus to just go anywhere. There is exit screening in place and sick people won’t be moving.
Most Ebola cases have been concentrated in West Africa, particularly Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. There have also been isolated cases of people contracting Ebola and traveling to cities in the United States and Europe, with a few cases of Ebola in Spain, Germany and the United States.
On Tuesday, a U.N. medical worker in Berlin who contracted Ebola in Liberia died despite intensive medical care. 41 other staff members of the U.N. peacekeeping missions were placed under medical supervision after he tested positive. He was the third Ebola patient transported to Germany for treatment. The first recovered and returned to Senegal, while a Uganda aid worker is still being treated.
In Spain the assistant nurse infected has improved slightly and remains in stable but serious condition. The nurse, Teresa Romero, contracted Ebola while treating a Spanish missionary who contracted the disease in West Africa and died in Madrid in September, the Seattle Times reported.
WHO increased the Ebola death toll to 4,447 on Tuesday, with most deaths in West Africa. The number of suspected and probable cases is now 8,914.