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Ebola Death Toll Reaches 5,689

  • VOA News

FILE -A healthcare worker dons protective gear before entering an Ebola treatment center in the west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Oct. 16, 2014.

FILE -A healthcare worker dons protective gear before entering an Ebola treatment center in the west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Oct. 16, 2014.

Nearly 5,700 people have now died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, amid signs the spread of the virus is slowing but has not stopped.

New figures released Wednesday by the World Health Organization showed the death toll increasing by 230 to 5,689 since the agency's previous report late last week. The total number of cases rose to 15,935 - an increase of about 600.

The U.N. agency says the number of newly reported cases is stable in Guinea and stable or declining in Liberia, but still may be increasing in Sierra Leone, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of all new cases.

The WHO reports a total of eight Ebola cases and six deaths in Mali.

It says nearly 600 health workers have been infected by Ebola, 340 of whom have died.

The report says Guinea is now isolating more than 70 percent of its Ebola patients to prevent further infections and has most of the safe burial teams it needs. It says progress toward those goals appears slower in Liberia and Sierra Leone, while noting that a lack of data makes it hard to reach conclusions.

The WHO noted that some districts once considered epicenters of the outbreak, like Lofa in Liberia, Gueckedou in Guinea, and Kenema in Sierra Leone, have reported almost no new cases this month.

It said the worst affected area remains Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, which reported 118 new cases. The report said "transmission remains persistent and intense across the country" except in the southeast.

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