MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - The number of Ebola cases is doubling every four weeks which could mean some 5,000 to 10,000 cases of the deadly virus per week, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman Eric Porterfield told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
"Our data shows that the number of cases is doubling every 4 weeks, so it is possible that we might see figures as high as 5,000 to 10,000 per week," the WHO spokesman said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
"With each new person infected by the virus, it has the potential to infect his or her family and neighbors. This is why we need to identify the cases and isolate them as quickly as possible," Porterfield added.
WHO warned that there could be some 10,000 new cases of Ebola per week in accordance to data connected to the current trends of the outbreak. Should the epidemic continue to spread at its current rate, and efforts to fight the disease are not boosted, the threat of Ebola may become greater to those living outside of West African countries directly exposed to the disease.
Porterfield also urged individuals suffering from symptoms of the disease to come forward as soon as possible.
"People are not coming for care soon enough. When people do come for care immediately after they have symptoms, the death rate drops," the WHO spokesman said adding that Nigeria was a prime example of such a situation where nine out of 20 people die of the Ebola virus.
WHO's latest data reports that the death rate for Ebola has increased to 70 percent from the previous rate of some 50 percent.
On Tuesday, WHO's assistant director general Bruce Aylward said that if the disease is not contained within the next two months it may reach the peak number of 5,000 to 10,000 new cases of infection per week in December and added that the number of people infected with the virus will top 9,000 before the end of this week.
The current Ebola epidemic broke out in Guinea in February and soon spread to the neighboring countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal.
The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. Though there is no officially approved medication for the disease, several countries are currently working on developing Ebola vaccines.
According to the WHO, almost 9,000 cases of the Ebola virus have been reported, with the disease killing over 4,400 people so far.