The World Health Organization said on Friday that West Africa's death toll from the Ebola virus has reached at least 3,080 people. That number marks the first time an outbreak has claimed more than 3,000 lives, Time notes.
Officials have confirmed more than 6,500 cases, and recent worst-case estimates show that as many as 1.4 million people could become infected by January. And as clinics and health workers struggle to keep pace with the outbreak, the hardest-hit countries are also facing "collateral" deaths, Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust international health charity, told Reuters.
"The health services of West Africa have to a very large degree broken down," Farrar said. "That means care of women in childbirth, of people with malaria, of people with conditions like diabetes and mental illness are all suffering. That will have huge secondary consequences way beyond Ebola."
The outbreak began earlier this year in Guinea, but it has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. At least 208 of the Ebola deaths have been health workers, and the affected West African countries have pleaded for more international support to build and staff new treatment facilities.