Disease

WHO reports sudden spike in Ebola death toll

The World Health Organization said that almost 7,000 people have died of Ebola in west Africa, adding a further 1,200 to a toll from two days earlier.

Of the 16,169 people who contracted the disease, 6,928 died in the three countries most affected by the outbreak: Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the WHO said.

The sudden increase in number of deaths, mostly in Liberia, were because of a “a reconciliation of historical numbers” and not to new deaths in recent days, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.

Given the difficulty in collecting figures, the agency has previously said it believes there have been far more deaths than those registered.

The virus, which hit Liberia the hardest, is said to have been slowing down, according to observer.

Nonetheless, Liberia accounts for the lion’s share of the new deaths tallied, now standing at 4,181 out of 7,244 cases. Sierra Leone, which according to the WHO is still seeing a rapid spread of Ebola in many parts of the country, now counts 1,461 deaths out of 6,802 cases, up from 1,398 deaths and 6,599 cases on November 26.

Guinea, where the outbreak began nearly a year ago, meanwhile counted 1,284 deaths out of 2,123 cases, up from 1,260 deaths and 2,134 cases two days earlier.

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