The World Health Organization has released new figures on the number of casualties from the ongoing Ebola epidemic. Nearly 2,000 have died of the virus since February.
According to figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday, over 1,900 people have died from the deadly Ebola virus since the current outbreak, which has been traced back to around February.
"As of this week, we are reporting 3,500 cases confirmed in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and more than 1,900 deaths," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan told a news conference in Washington, adding that the outbreak was worsening.
According to the organization, the spread of the virus could be stopped in "six to nine months," with the proper funding and technical expertise and if the coordinated, international response remained as positive as it is now.
One current goal, Chan said, was to reverse the current trend of the badly-hit Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, within three months.
She said at least 600 million US dollars would be needed in aid to get the West African epidemic under control.
On Tuesday, the US announced a missionary doctor working for the organization SIM had contracted the Ebola virus. Fifty-one-year-old Rick Sacra had been treating obstetrics patients in Liberia, where he is now in quarantine.
It was not immediately clear whether he would be flown to a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, where two missionary doctors - Nancy Writebol and Kent Brantly - recovered after being treated with the experimental drug ZMapp.
In the UK, British nurse William Pooley was also released from hospital on Wednesday after being treated with ZMapp. The 29-year-old had contracted the disease while volunteering in Sierra Leone.
sb/rc (dpa, Reuters, AFP)