The number of deaths from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has climbed to 1,229, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, but it cited “encouraging signs” from Nigeria and Guinea that positive action can rein in the deadly disease. The death toll increased between August 14 and 16, as 113 new cases were reported, raising the total number of cases this year to 2,240, the world health body said. The information came from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the four West African countries hit by the deadly virus.
Despite the rising death toll, the WHO said that there were “some encouraging signs” in Nigeria and Guinea. The situation in Lagos, Nigeria, where the first case was detected in July, “looks reassuring,” it said. “At present, the city’s 12 confirmed cases are all part of a single chain of transmission. Those infected by the initial case include medical staff involved in his treatment, a patient in the same hospital, and a protocol officer in very close contact with the patient,” it said.
No one on the same flight as the man who carried the infection into the country on July 20 was infected, despite him vomiting frequently on the flight and on arrival, it said. The man died July 25 and the 21-day incubation period has now passed, the WHO said. Intensive efforts to track those at risk have not turned up any new cases outside the 12 identified.