Updated 6:17 p.m. Moscow Time
GENEVA, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - Some 427 medical care workers have been infected with Ebola virus worldwide, 236 of them died, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
"427 healthcare workers have been infected with Ebola and 236 have died," spokesperson Isabelle Nuttall told reporters at WHO Headquarters in Geneva.
"Our data shows that cases are doubling every four weeks," she added.
The lethal virus disease has killed about 4,500 people so far, with the majority of cases registered in three West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with a separate outbreak reported in DR Congo.
Nuttall said there were no confirmed reports of the Ebola outbreak spillovers into the neighboring countries, but stressed the international community must be ready to contain the pandemic.
Several Ebola patients have been admitted to hospitals in Europe and the United States. Initially, they were people who had been to one of West Africa's Ebola zones, but since then the contagion has also jumped over to several nurses who treated those patients outside the disease-hit countries.
A total of two nurses at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital have caught the Ebola virus after coming in contact with Thomas Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.
Healthcare workers are at the highest risk of contracting Ebola, which is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. Ebola symptoms resemble those of flu, and include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and bleeding.
Though there is no officially approved medication for the disease, several countries, including the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, Canada and Japan are currently working on developing Ebola vaccines.