Originally published September 9 2014
Number of Ebola cases is 'increasing exponentially,' World Health Organization warns
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The Ebola crisis has taken a major turn for the worse as the World Health Organization (WHO) announces that the number of infected individuals is now "increasing exponentially." The uptick is particularly concerning in Liberia, where the international agency says the worst is yet to come.
Among the 4,269 known cases of Ebola in West Africa, nearly 2,300, a little over half, have resulted in death. And roughly half of these deaths have occurred in Liberia, according to the United Nations, with the rest reportedly hailing from nearby Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.
In a recent announcement, WHO warned that the numbers appear to show an exponential increase in infections across West Africa, and that things will get worse before getting better. Underscoring the unusual spread of the disease, experts say Ebola is particularly problematic in the larger cities, and especially in those where public health facilities are lacking.
But the situation is most extreme in Liberia, where entire communities are facing rapid infection due to poor containment measures and a lack of medical personnel. According to data compiled by WHO, some 152 healthcare workers in Liberia are known to have contracted Ebola, and 79 of them have already died.
Liberia was already lacking in adequate medical personnel prior to the outbreak, with only about one doctor available for every 100,000 people. In a country of 4.4 million people, this is a major problem, especially as the death toll mounts and infected individuals have nowhere to turn for treatment and quarantine.
"Transmission of the Ebola virus in Liberia is already intense and the number of new cases is increasing exponentially," reads a harrowing statement recently issued by WHO.
"In Monrovia, taxis filled with entire families, of whom some members are thought to be infected with the Ebola virus, crisscross the city, searching for a treatment bed. There are none. As WHO staff in Liberia confirm, no free beds for Ebola treatment exist anywhere in the country."
Nutrition, not ZMapp, likely cured American doctors infected with Ebola WHO officials are aiming to completely stop the spread of Ebola in both Senegal and Nigeria, where infection rates are still relatively small. But the agency is urging aid organizations both locally and internationally to take further action in Liberia.
In its announcement, WHO warned that aid groups in Liberia will "need to prepare to scale up their current efforts by three- to four-fold" in order to control the spread of Ebola. At this point, the return of infected individuals to their respective villages threatens to spark "flare-ups" that, in the immediate future, will likely lead to massive spikes of infection.
As far as the three American healthcare workers who were returned to the States for treatment, the two who received experimental ZMapp are reportedly recovering. But experts say ZMapp may not have been responsible for this, as both patients received high-dose, intravenous nutrition and carefully monitored fluid-replacement therapy.
These interventions, admit workers at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where the couple was treated, are more than likely the real cure, one that will be difficult to administer in West Africa, especially as the already inadequate infrastructure there is pressed beyond its limits.
"The Ebola outbreak has just driven home the inadequacy that's there," stated Dr. Barbara Knust, team leader for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Ebola response unit, before a recent meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
Learn more about natural defenses against viral outbreaks at BioDefense.com.
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