Current Status of the Ebola Outbreak
West Africa comprises the sixteen countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. This area boasts hundreds of language groups who all share a similar culture.
Currently Ebola cases have been reported in 4 of the 16 countries, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. In all except Guinea, English is the official Language. French is the official language of Guinea and is commonly used along with English throughout the region.
On 8 August 2014, the WHO declared the epidemic to be an international public health emergency. Urging the world to offer aid to the affected regions, the Director-General said, "Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own. I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible." By mid-August 2014, Doctors Without Borders reported the situation in Liberia's capital Monrovia as "catastrophic" and "deteriorating daily". They report that fears of Ebola among staff members and patients has shut down much of the city’s health system which has resulted in leaving many people without treatment for other conditions. By late August 2014, the disease had spread to Nigeria.
By 6 September 2014, 4,293 suspected cases including 2,296 deaths had been reported, however the World Health Organization has said that these numbers may be vastly underestimated. Additionally the outbreak has resulted in more than 120 healthcare worker deaths partly due to the lack of equipment and long hours. On 8 September 2014, WHO warned the number of new cases in Liberia was increasing exponentially, and would increase by "many thousands" in the following 3 weeks.
Update October 2, 2014
There have been 7,178 confirmed cases, with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea suffering the most.
Save the Children says Ebola is spreading across Sierra Leone at a "terrifying rate", with the number of new cases being recorded doubling every few weeks.
It said that even as health authorities got on top of the outbreak in one area, it spread to another.
The scale of the disease is also "massively unreported" according to the charity, because "untold numbers of children are dying anonymously at home or in the streets".
Ebola deaths Up to 28 September 3,338
Deaths (probable, confirmed and suspected)
622 Sierra Leone
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