West Africa’s explosion of Ebola cases is outpacing the ability of healthcare workers to manage the situation, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, as more countries have stepped up to the plate to lend their assistance.
WHO director general Margaret Chan said the depth of the Ebola crisis, concentrated on the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, now required more international assistance.
“The Ebola outbreak that is ravaging parts of West Africa is the largest and most complex and most severe in the almost four-decade history of this disease,” she told a news conference in Geneva.
The death toll from the deadly virus, for which there is no known cure, surged to more than 2,400 people out of 4,784 cases. Meanwhile, Chan said the current death toll figures were most certainly “an underestimate.”
WHO previously warned there could be as many as 20,000 cases in the region before the outbreak is brought under control.
This has placed a tremendous burden on health officials and facilities, which are not equipped to handle such an emergency.
“The number of new patients is moving far faster than the capacity to manage them. We need to surge at least three to four times to catch up with the outbreaks,” Chan said, reiterating her request for immediate international aid.