The deadly Ebola outbreak will take months to contain, the World Health Organization warned Thursday as it announced the worldwide death toll would pass 4,500 – including 236 health workers. Dr. Isabelle Nuttall, director of Global Capacities, Alert and Response, said the WHO was drawing up a checklist for countries to help them prepare for cases of the disease. “It will take months before this outbreak is stopped,” she told reporters in Geneva.
Nuttall said the total number of worldwide cases would pass 9,000 this week, including 427 health workers, adding that the real number could be much higher because of under-reporting. The WHO has identified 14 African countries where preparedness and containment of the disease is a priority to prevent its spread. “We cannot underestimate the importance of contact tracing,” she said, adding that it was important that possible exposure to infected patients was followed up.
- Alastair Jamieson