The global death toll from Ebola has risen to 7,588 out of 19,497 confirmed cases recorded in the year-old epidemic raging in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

The virus is still spreading intensely in Sierra Leone, especially in the north and west, with 315 new confirmed cases reported in the former British colony in the week to December 21, it said. These included 115 cases in the capital Freetown.

“The neighboring district of Port Loko experienced a surge in new cases, reporting 92 confirmed cases compared with 56 the previous week,” the WHO said.

In Sierra Leone, information about how to prevent and treat Ebola was provided to more than 5,000 households between 10 and 17 December as part of a major awareness campaign, it said.

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