World Health Organization says Ebola Cases Could Rise to 10,000 by December

A health care worker in a high-risk Ebola area in Paynesville, Liberia. (Photo: John Moore, Getty Images)
A health care worker in a high-risk Ebola area in Paynesville, Liberia.
(Photo: John Moore, Getty Images)

New cases of Ebola could reach 10,000 per week by December as the virus outbreak races out of control in West Africa, a World Health Organization official said Tuesday.

WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward also said the death rate, which had been estimated at about half of those who become infected, has risen to about 70%.

Aylward said there have been about 1,000 new cases reported per week over the last month. He said WHO is aiming to isolate 70% of cases — and to have 70% of victims buried quickly and safely — within two months to reverse the outbreak.

“A lot more people will die” if the crisis response isn’t stepped up within two months, Aylward said. He said WHO’s goal is to begin seeing a week-to-week decline in the number of new cases in the Ebola hotbeds of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone within 90 days.

The disease is expanding into more areas of those countries, Aylward said. But he stressed that overwhelmed treatment centers would not consider isolation without treatment.

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Source: USA Today | John Bacon

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