With more than 4,400 people dead from Ebola - mainly in West Africa - senior WHO official Bruce Aylward told reporters on Monday that the outbreak was continuing to spread geographically to new districts in the capitals of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. As The BBC reports, the WHO says it is alarmed by the number of health workers exposed to the disease and warned the epidemic threatens the "very survival" of societies and could lead to failed states. "Any sense that the great effort that's been kicked off over the last couple of months is already starting to see an impact, that would be really, really premature," Aylward said, as WHO further warned the number of new Ebola cases may jump to 10,000 a week by Dec. 1 as the deadly viral infection spreads - "the virus is still moving geographically and still escalating in capitals, and that’s what concerns me."
First - the good news:
- *WHO TO DECLARE END OF EBOLA IN SENEGAL OCT. 17 IF NO NEW CASES
But - as The FT reports,
The Ebola epidemic in west Africa is set to reach a peak of between 5,000 and 10,000 cases a week by early December – up to 10 times the current official figure – before international action is likely to reverse the rise, the World Health Organisation has predicted.
Dr Bruce Aylward, who recently took charge of the WHO’s operational response to the crisis, also warned on Tuesday not to misinterpret the official Ebola lethality numbers. The latest figures show 8,914 cases and 4,447 deaths so far, suggesting that about half the patients recover, but may only show half the real toll.
“We anticipate that the number of cases [per week] occurring by that time will be 5,000 to 10,000,” he said. “It could be higher, it could lower, but it’s going to be in that ballpark.”
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Outside of West Africa, cases continue to rise:
Sadly, European cases continue to deteriorate...
A UN medical worker infected with Ebola has died at a hospital in Germany. Doctors at the hospital in Leipzig said the man, 56, originally from Sudan, died despite receiving experimental drugs to treat the virus. (via BBC):
The man who died in Leipzig had been working as a UN medical official in Liberia - one of the worst affected countries - when he caught Ebola.
He arrived in Germany last Thursday for treatment and was put into a hermetically sealed ward, accessed through airlock systems.
"Despite intensive medical measures and maximum efforts by the medical team, the 56-year-old UN employee succumbed to the serious infectious disease," a statement from St Georg hospital said.
He was the second member of the UN team in Liberia to die from the virus, the BBC's Jenny Hill in Berlin says.
He was also the third Ebola patient to be treated for the virus in Germany after contracting the disease in West Africa.
The Spanish nurse remains in critical condition after becoming the first person to contract the disease outside of Africa last week, although doctors say there are signs of improvement
In the US, potential cases continue to appear...
In Jacksonville, Florida a patient with flu-like symptoms was isolated and tested for Ebola “on the basis of self-reported casual contact with a West Africa traveler,” according to the hospital.
In Boston, Massachusetts on Monday, a patient who had recently traveled to Liberia was evaluated for Ebola and deemed not to have the virus.
And finally, the most worrying case for Americans remains in Kansas...
Kansas University Hospital officials have placed a man into isolation while awaiting the results of Ebola tests, officials said Monday. The patient—a medic who had recently worked in West Africa treating locals for the virus—admitted himself to the hospital with flu-like symptoms. Despite his exposure, officials described his case as “a low risk patient.”
Since once Ebola hits the heartland, one might expect domestic air travel to slow dramatically.
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We leave it to UN Ebola mission leader Tony Banbury to sum up what's needed:
"We need everything. We need it everywhere, and we need it superfast."