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WHO: Ebola virus may becoming endemic in West Africa
« on: 23 September 2014 »

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-ebola-may-be-endemic-in-people-20140922-story.html

Quote
By Monte Morin

- Epidemiologic outlook is "bleak" as Ebola threatens to become endemic to West Africa, WHO study finds

- The WHO estimates more than 20,000 Ebola cases by Nov. 2

- New estimate pegs Ebola virus mortality rate at slightly more than 70%

In a grim assessment of the Ebola epidemic, researchers say the deadly virus threatens to become endemic to West Africa instead of eventually disappearing from humans.

"The current epidemiologic outlook is bleak," wrote a panel of more than 60 WHO experts in a study published Tuesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.

"We must therefore face the possibility that Ebola virus disease will become endemic among the human population of West Africa, a prospect that has never previously been contemplated."

In the absence of new control measures, the authors estimated that the total case load would exceed 20,000 by Nov 2.

"The numbers of cases of and deaths from EVD are expected to continue increasing from hundreds to thousands per week in the coming months," authors wrote.

As of Monday, the United Nations health organization reported that out of a total of 5,864 confirmed and probable cases, 2,811 deaths have resulted.

"The true numbers of cases and deaths are certainly higher," the authors wrote. "There are numerous reports of symptomatic persons evading diagnosis and treatment, of laboratory diagnoses that have not been included in national databases, and of persons with suspected Ebola virus disease who were buried without a diagnosis having been made."

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