Global experts issued on Tuesday stark new warnings of the scale of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and called for urgent measures to combat the deadly virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States said up to 1.4 million people might be infected in Africa by January, Reuters reported. The projection was based on data from late August and did not take into account a planned US mission to fight the disease.
Meanwhile, experts from the World Health Organization and Imperial College, London, estimated that 20,000 people risk infection within six weeks. They warned that the disease might become a permanent feature of life in West Africa.
“Without drastic improvements in control measures, the numbers of cases and deaths… are expected to continue increasing from hundreds to thousands per week in the coming months,” the experts wrote in a report.
The Ebola outbreak has already killed over 2,800 people as it marched across much of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Outbreaks in Nigeria and Senegal appear for now to have been contained.
“I am confident the most dire projections will not come to pass,” CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said. “If you get enough people effectively isolated, the epidemic can be stopped.”
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