The Ebola epidemic fatalities in West Africa have reached approximately 8,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

The WHO said on Friday that out of 19,695 recorded cases of Ebola infection 7,693 had died in West Africa.

This is while the figures released on December 22 showed 7,518 fatalities out of 19,340 infections in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, WHO added.

The disease has taken at least 7,708 peoples’ lives around the globe including eight in Nigeria, which was declared free of Ebola in October, six in Mali, and one in the United States, the organization said.

There were no deaths in Spain and Senegal, which have both been declared Ebola-free; however, one infection case was reported in each country, according to the world body.

The WHO said Sierra Leone as the country with the most infections has overtaken Liberia.

Liberia, which was known as the hardest-hit country, recorded 7,862 cases and 3,384 deaths on December 20, showing a clear decrease in transmission, the WHO said.

The outbreak started a year ago in Guinea, where the tally counted 2,630 Ebola cases and 1,654 deaths as of December 24.

Ebola is one of the deadliest viruses known to man. It is a form of hemorrhagic fever with diarrhea, vomiting, as well as internal and external bleeding as its symptoms.

The virus spreads through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. Those who care for the Ebola-infected patients or handle their bodies are particularly exposed and endangered.

According to the WHO, as of December 21, a total of 666 healthcare workers were infected by the virus, 366 of whom died.

 


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