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Ebola deaths pass 3,000

More than 3,000 people have now died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. But this number is probably an underestimate, according to the World Health Organization.

At least 3,091 people have now died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the World Health Organization said on Friday. Around 6,574 people have contracted the virus since the latest outbreak emerged in March.

The virus has hit Liberia the worst - with 1,830 deaths. The new death tolls published on Friday show there were more than 150 deaths in Liberia in just two days.

The two other most affected countries are Guinea and Sierra Leone, with the outbreak also touching Nigeria and Senegal.

The WHO said the overall number of deaths may be an underestimate. Many cases are going unrecorded for various reasons. Some families are uncooperative with authorities and hide patients, fearing the stigma associated with a positive diagnosis.

Others are afraid to go to hospitals, or worse, are turned away because of overcrowding.

The tropical disease induces flu-like symptoms and causes severe internal and external hemorrhaging.

Appeal for Ebola aid

UN Secretary-General Ban told world leaders meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Thursday that

$1 billion (785 million euros) was needed in the fight against Ebola

. Liberia's president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, said in a video speech that 100,000 citizens could die.

Germany, meanwhile, is joining a growing list of countries sending help. At least 2,000 volunteers from the German military, the Bundeswehr,

will travel to West Africa in the coming weeks


Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said she had been overwhelmed by the response to her call for help. The first volunteers are due to arrive in mid- to late October.

jr/kms (AP, Reuters)

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