October 11, 2014 10:38
The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak has risen to more than 4,000 people.
The UN agency said Friday that nearly 8,400 cases of the diseases have been recorded in seven countries, with 4,033 people dying from the epidemic. It said all but nine of the deaths were in the three worst affected countries -- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Eight people died in Nigeria and one patient died in the United States.
The data also includes one Ebola case each in Spain and Senegal, but no deaths in those countries. A separate Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 43 people.
Also Friday, the United Nations said that it has received only a quarter of its appeal of US$1 billion to respond to the outbreak. UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson said more money must be raised.
"Over $20 million has been raised for the multi-partner trust fund in the last week. But we need more. We need much more. Of the $1 billion sought by UN agencies under OCHA's consolidated appeal, only one quarter has been funded," said Eliasson.
The United Nation's special envoy on Ebola, David Nabarro, told a meeting of the UN General Assembly that the outbreak is the worst he has dealt with because it has moved into cities and is affecting a wide region.
"I've worked as a public health doctor for 35 years and I've been involved in many disease outbreaks and indeed some pandemics, but I've never encountered a challenge like this one in my professional life," said Nebarro.
"The reason is that this outbreak has moved out of rural areas and has come in to towns and cities. It's no longer just affecting a very defined geographical location. It's affecting a whole region and it's now also impacting on the whole world," he said.
The virus that causes Ebola spreads only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person who is showing symptoms.
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