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Foreign Affairs, Health Care, Health Disparities, Healthcare, Public Health

WHO: Ebola Deaths Approach 8,000

Ebola 12.10 7

The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has reached 7,905, out of a total 20,206 cases of the disease, according to an update from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The international organization released the new numbers Wednesday, as the year that saw the worst Ebola outbreak ever reported came to an end.  Medical experts say that the outbreak that began more than a year ago is likely to last through the end of 2015.

In an updated situation assessment, the WHO said there are signs that transmission rates may be stabilizing in Sierra Leone, although the western part of that nation is still experiencing the most intense transmission of all affected countries.  Sierra Leone currently has 9,446 cases and 2,758 recorded deaths.

Reported case incidence is on the decline in Liberia, where 8,018 cases and 3,423 deaths have been recorded. In Guinea, transmission rates are fluctuating, with between 70 and 160 confirmed cases over the past 15 weeks, the WHO said. To date, Guinea has recorded 2,707 cases and 1,709 deaths.

The other nations where at least one Ebola case has been diagnosed include Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, a Scottish nurse infected with Ebola is receiving an unnamed experimental antiviral drug as well as plasma taken from the blood of an Ebola survivor.

Officials at the Royal Free Hospital in North London, where the nurse is being treated, did not specify the name of the experimental drug, but they said Pauline Cafferkey is receiving plasma containing antibodies from the blood of an Ebola survivor that they hope might help their patient recover.

Cafferkey is said to have contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone while working with the charity group Save The Children. Her diagnosis marked the first-ever domestic case of Ebola in the U.K.



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