Speed Reads


WHO raises Ebola death toll to nearly 5,000, reports number of cases has passed 10,000

The World Health Organization's latest figures show that of more than 10,000 Ebola cases, 4,922 people have died, The Associated Press reports.

However, those numbers are likely an underestimate, as WHO notes that many people in the affected West African nations who have become infected are either scared to seek help at a treatment center, or are physically unable to do so. And in countries such as Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone where the virus continues to rage, health care workers are struggling to handle the number of cases that do present. In Sierra Leone, for example, government officials have begun sending treatment materials to infected households, because there is no longer room to care for new patients in the country's existing medical facilities.

The ongoing outbreak in West Africa has pushed WHO's timeline on beginning experimental Ebola vaccine trials in affected countries up by at least a month, Reuters reports.

"Vaccine is not a magic bullet, but when ready they may be a good part of the effort to turn the tide against the epidemic," Marie Paule Kieny, a senior WHO official, said.