Originally published September 14 2014
Ebola deaths jump by almost 200 people in a single day as pandemic explodes
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday confirmed that at least 2,296 [which has now risen to over 2,400] people had died from Ebola, a jump of nearly 200 deaths in just one day. And this figure didn't even account for the number of deaths in Liberia, the hardest-hit nation in the current Ebola outbreak, for which current data has yet to be released.
As of September 6, WHO was aware of 4,293 confirmed cases of Ebola in West Africa, minus any new ones in Liberia. Within the next two to three weeks, however, WHO expects that number to jump dramatically, along with total deaths, as Liberian health officials release new figures taking into account exponential disease spread.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told the media on the same day as the WHO announcement that her country is in major trouble, lacking adequate supplies and international support. She says the dwindling number of remaining health workers is struggling to keep up with the rate of disease spread, and that it could be weeks before things relent.
"It remains a very grave situation," she somberly explained to an audience at Harvard University during a recent conference through Skype. "It is taking a long time to respond effectively.... We expect it to accelerate for at least another two or three weeks before we can look forward to a decline."
Liberia could collapse from Ebola epidemic, says official But even this is just a hopeful expectation, as Ebola is showing no signs of decline, at least not in the immediate future. Liberia's Minister of National Defense warned the United Nations Security Council that the viral disease is threatening the underpinnings of the country, and that its very existence is now on the line.
"Liberia is facing a serious threat to its national existence," warned Brownie Samukai. "The deadly Ebola virus has caused a disruption of the normal functioning of our State."
Both the UN and WHO are having problems not only containing Ebola but also tracking its spread and severity. The situation is constantly evolving, with rates of infection and death now entering exponential territory. Despite the fact that the Ebola outbreak technically began last December, roughly 60 percent of all deaths, at least in Liberia, have occurred within the past three weeks.
Ebola 'spreading like wildfire'; Liberia's 'gravest threat since war' If it remains on its current accelerating trajectory, Ebola could end up infecting tens of thousands of people by the end of the month, and potentially hundreds of thousands by the end of the year. This would fulfill the statements made by Defense Minister Samukai that the current Ebola outbreak is Liberia's "gravest threat since war."
"[Ebola] is now spreading like wildfire, devouring everything in its path," she recently stated. "The already weak health infrastructure of the country has been overwhelmed."
Samukai's war reference pertains to two different civil wars that took place in Liberia between 1989 and 2003, which cumulatively resulted in more than 250,000 deaths. These wars completely destabilized the country, which was still in recovery when the current Ebola outbreak began last December.
"The Ebola crisis has become complex, with political, security, economic and social implications that will continue to affect the country well beyond the current medical emergency," stated Karin Landgren, the UN special envoy to Liberia.
Liberia, WHO and even Doctors Without Borders, the most prominent aid group on the ground in West Africa, all admit that there are no longer enough resources or personnel to handle the outbreak. This puts over 4 million people in the region, and potentially the rest of the world, at risk.
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