Ebola Cases May Reach 20,000 by November: WHO

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The number of confirmed and probable cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa may reach 20,000 by November unless immediate action is taken, a World Health Organization (WHO) report published Tuesday reads.

MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - The number of confirmed and probable cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa may reach 20,000 by November unless immediate action is taken, a World Health Organization (WHO) report published Tuesday reads.

"Forward projections suggest that unless control measures – including improvements in contact tracing, adequate case isolation, increased capacity for clinical management, safe burials, greater community engagement, and support from international partners — improve quickly, these three countries [Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone] will soon be reporting thousands of cases and deaths each week, projections that are similar to those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," the WHO said in the report titled "Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa – The First 9 Months of the Epidemic and Forward Projections."

WHO experts expect that the number of EVD cases will reach 5,740 in Guinea, 9,890 in Liberia and 5,000 in Sierra Leone by the beginning of November. The experts urge that prompt action be taken, including strict quarantine measures and the rapid development of new medications.

Fatality rates are estimated to be at 70.7 percent in Guinea, 72.3 percent in Liberia and 69.0 percent in Sierra Leone.

By now, cases of Ebola have been registered in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal. A separate outbreak, unrelated to the one in West Africa, is taking place in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There is no officially approved medication for the disease. However, several countries, including Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan, are currently working on vaccines.

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