Ebola Death Toll Surpasses 5,000 Worldwide

The recent report from the World Health Organization unveils a mixed picture of the fight against Ebola.

Latest update show that the deadly virus has claimed more than 5,000 lives already. Photo: standbytaskforce1/Flickr

Latest update show that the deadly virus has claimed more than 5,000 lives already. Photo: standbytaskforce1/Flickr

More than 5,000 people have died from Ebola, marking the dangerous level of spreading of the disease that coincides with its return to Mali and attacking Sierra Leone, according to a status update released Wednesday by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The terrible virus has claimed lives of 5,160 out of 14,098 people infected across several countries, said the World Health Organization presenting an uncertain stage — dented with disappointments but also peaked with some bright points — in its effort to bring the Ebola outbreak under control.

“In one hopeful sign, the rate of Ebola transmission is no longer increasing at a national level in Guinea and Liberia, though some areas of both countries are still seeing an escalation,” Time writes.

Meanwhile, Sierra Leone, where 1,169 people have died, continues to fight “steep increases” in the number of cases. About 420 new cases were reported in the nation in just one week in November alone.

“Meanwhile, the WHO has received just 49% of the $260 million it deems necessary to handle the Ebola outbreak, according to the group’s latest figures. Though an additional 15% of the total amount has been pledged to the organization, it is still wanting for 36% of the required sum,” Time reports.

“Echoing that walkout were protests and strikes by nurses across the United States over what they characterized as insufficient protection for health workers dealing with potential Ebola patients. Two nurses, who treated a Liberian man who died of the disease at a Dallas hospital in October, contracted the virus but recovered,” Reuters says.

California-based National Nurses United had expected about 100,000 nurses from all over the country to participate in the protest, but officials from the union could not say how many people participated.

In Washington, the Obama administration tried to assure sceptical U.S. senators that its efforts to combat Ebola were making progress and urged lawmakers to approve $6.2 billion in new emergency funds to contain the virus.

“We believe we have the right strategy in place, both at home and abroad,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Last month President Obama for a campaign trip in Wisconsin, the U.S. presisent said the “disease can be contained—it will be defeated,” mentioning that certain progress has been made by the state’s military forces on the ground in West Africa assisting with the response.

He went on, adding that these medical workers, often volunteers for international humanitarian groups, should be “applauded, thanked and supported.”

“And we can make sure that when they come back, they are being monitored in a prudent fashion. But we want to make sure that we understand that they are doing God’s work over there. And they’re doing that to keep us safe,” Obama added.

“We don’t just react based on our fears, we react based on facts and judgement and making smart decisions,” he said, in a critique of the governors. “We’re going to have to stay vigilant here at home until we stop the outbreak at its source.”

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