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Ebola Update: More Than 7,000 Cases in West Africa

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More than 7,000 people have been diagnosed with Ebola in West Africa, and 3,338 have died of it, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. “There are few signs yet that the Ebola virus disease epidemic in West Africa is being brought under control,” WHO said in its latest update on the epidemic. “Transmission remains persistent and widespread in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with strong evidence of increasing case incidence in several districts.”

WHO says the number is certainly an underestimate, and predicts the epidemic will continue to worsen, with as many as 20,000 cases by November. Health care workers continue to be at high risk. WHO says 377 doctors, nurses and other health professionals have been infected and 216 have died.

Countries are scrambling to help, but experts in the affected countries say it’s still too little to do much good yet. Two U.S. Navy mobile laboratories in Liberia will help boost the ability to test patients for Ebola. “In Sierra Leone, the Chinese mobile laboratory team based in Freetown started testing samples on 29 September 2014, with a testing capacity of 20 samples per day.” WHO says as long as Ebola remains in West Africa, other countries are at risk of importing cases.

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