Africa

Ebola crisis: Sierra Leone case number surpasses Liberia

October 2014 photo, a man suffering from the Ebola virus near Freetown, Sierra Leone. Image copyright AP
Image caption Sierra Leone is struggling to contain the deadliest-ever Ebola outbreak

Sierra Leone has overtaken neighbouring Liberia as the country with the highest number of Ebola cases, the latest World Health Organization figures suggest.

Its latest estimate of the cumulative number of cases since the start of the outbreak in March now stands at 7,780 in Sierra Leone and 7,719 in Liberia.

In Guinea, the figure is 2,283. The virus has killed more than 6,300 people in the three West African countries.

Just over half the reported deaths have been in Liberia, the WHO says.

On Monday, the organisation said its 60-day goals for tackling Ebola - treating 70% of patients and burying 70% of victims by 1 December - had been largely met in the three countries at the centre of the outbreak.

However it also said that the treatment figure in Sierra Leone had fallen below the mark.


Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Image copyright SPL
  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva
  • Fatality rate can reach 90% - but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 70%
  • Incubation period is two to 21 days
  • There is no proven vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
  • Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus's natural host

The West African outbreak of Ebola is the deadliest ever.

The virus, which was first identified in 1976, causes vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding.

People are infected through direct contact with the bodily fluids of a person who has the virus or has died from Ebola.

Ebola deaths

Figures up to 13 January 2016

11,315

Deaths - probable, confirmed and suspected

(Includes one in the US and six in Mali)

  • 4,809 Liberia

  • 3,955 Sierra Leone

  • 2,536 Guinea

  • 8 Nigeria

Getty

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