West Africa's Ebola Epidemic Is 'Out of Control'

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A renewed outbreak of the Ebola virus in west Africa is “unprecedented” and out of control with death toll figures now rising into the several hundreds. Since the initial Ebola outbreak in March, there have been 567 cases and 350 deaths, according to data from the World Health Organization. The cases of Ebola been widespread, hitting 60 different locations across Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Usually infections are confined to one area, making it easier to contain, but this one is spreading beyond its usual reach.

While the initial outbreak was underestimated by health teams in those countries, a “relaxation of efforts” is partly to blame for resurgence of Ebola, according to Pierre Formenty, a WHO specialist, who spoke with AFP. “In addition, there we some problems with the affected populations which were sometimes not fully listened to,” Formenty added.

Now considered an epidemic by Doctors Without Borders — Médecins Sans Frontières, the only aid organization that is treating patients with the virus — Ebola is a “silent killer,” that begins with flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, fever before spawning into something much more deadly. Described as “something out of a horror movie,” a patient suffers diarrhea and vomiting before the body loses the ability to clot blood, reports CNN’s Danielle Dellorto.

The Ebola outbreak last made the news earlier this year, when the WHO acknowledged that it was one of the most challenging outbreaks of the virus they’d ever faced. The WHO are planning a “high-level meeting” in Ghana early next month to make sure more political clout and cross-border help is aimed at fighting the epidemic. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.