It began in the forested villages of southeastern Guinea. The deaths came slowly in the first weeks. But by March 23, when the World Health Organization released its first dispatch on the burgeoning Ebola outbreak, 29 had died of a disease that is among the globe’s most feared.

Despite the international response, local governmental resources and a flood of volunteers, nothing has slowed the outbreak, which has spread from Guinea to Liberia and into Sierra Leone, where the death toll has doubled in the past week from six to 12.

“This is worse than expected,” Robert Garry, a Tulane University virologist who’s in Sierra Leone, told NBC News. “I am fearful that it could get much worse.” Supplies, he said, are running low. “We have to ration them,” he said.

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