With the dual caveats that data acquisition from the affected countries is far from reliable, and that other estimates suggest the actual numbers could be 2 to 3 times higher than the `official counts’, we’ve the latest grim set of figures from the World Health Organization on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
To date more than 8,000 suspected or confirmed cases have been recorded, including 3858 deaths. Among healthcare workers, the toll continues to rise, with more than 400 infected, and more than 230 deaths.
What follows are just a few excerpts from a 10-page PDF report.
The total number of confirmed, probable, and suspected cases (see Annex 1) in the West African epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported up to the end of 5 October 2014 (epidemiological week 40) is 8033 with 3879 deaths. Countries affected are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and the United States of America. A confirmed case of EVD has been reported in Spain1, but because the case was confirmed during the week ending 12 October (epidemiological week 41), information on this case will be included in the next Ebola Response Roadmap update.
The past week has seen a continuation of recent trends: the situation in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone continues to deteriorate, with widespread and persistent transmission of EVD. Problems with data gathering in Liberia continue. It should be emphasized that the reported fall in the number of new cases in Liberia over the past three weeks is unlikely to be genuine. Rather, it reflects a deterioration in the ability of overwhelmed responders to record accurate epidemiological data. It is clear from field reports and first responders that EVD cases are being under-reported from several key locations, and laboratory data that have not yet been integrated into official estimates indicate an increase in the number of new cases in Liberia. There is no evidence that the EVD epidemic in West Africa is being brought under control, though there is evidence of a decline in incidence in the districts of Lofa in Liberia, and Kailahun and Kenema in Sierra Leone.
Healthcare Workers infected and/or killed.