Ebola cases in West Africa reach 20,000, death toll at 7,842

Experts warn the epidemic will last a full second year

Houston: The World Health Organisation on Wednesday said that the number of people infected by the Ebola outbreak in the three west African countries has passed 20,000, even as the death toll from the deadly-disease reached 7,842.

Cumulative Ebola cases in the three west African countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea stood at 20,081, the WHO said in a statement.

Despite various missions launched by the UN, after it declared the outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern" in August, the disease has continued to spread and experts warn the epidemic will last a full second year.

Meanwhile, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) today announced that the so-called "CommCare" technology has been chosen to support the Guinean Government Response Plan against Ebola in order to obtain timely and reliable information on patients as well as facilitate contact tracing.

UNFPA said the innovative and time-saving application will be used to locate the contacts and to transfer, in real time, the data collected by the community workers.

Nearly, 158 community workers have already been using these phones to retrieve the data collected in the field.

The UNFPA office in Guinea has been organising training sessions for community workers and supervisors throughout the territory.

( Source : PTI )
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