The World Health Organization or WHO has warned that Liberia should expect thousands of new cases in coming weeks, while reminding aid partners of the urgent need to step up efforts to combat the deadly epidemic.
“Transmission of the Ebola virus in Liberia is already intense and the number of new cases is increasing exponentially,” WHO said in a statement.
According to the WHO, motorbike-taxis and regular taxis are frequent mode of transmission because they are not being disinfected after transporting patients to treatment centers in Liberia, the country hardest-hit by the Ebola epidemic currently raging in West Africa.
A WHO update last Friday put the number of persons killed by the disease here at 1,089, among 1,871 cases of infection. According to the World Health Organization, the conventional Ebola control measures in the country were “not having an adequate impact,” and called on aid partners to increase efforts to bring the disease under control.
In Liberia’s Montserrado County, which includes the capital, Monrovia, a WHO investigative team estimates that 1,000 beds were urgently needed for Ebola patients at hospitals.
The statement pointed out that newly opened treatment centers were immediately swamped by patients, indicating that there were many cases as yet unregistered. People returning from the centers infected others, fueling the exponential increase in cases, it said. It also narrated that many health workers in Liberia had also died of the disease, resulting in an increasing lack of medical capacity to cope with the epidemic.
So far, more than 3,500 people across West Africa have been infected and more than 2,000 killed in what is the largest Ebola outbreak on record. The other countries so far affected are Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. The disease, whose symptoms include high fever and external and internal hemorrhaging, is transmitted through contact with infected bodily fluids.