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Ebola Spreading Faster in Sierra Leone

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

New data shows the Ebola outbreak intensifying in Sierra Leone, even as it stabilizes or drops off in other West African countries.

The World Health Organization says Sierra Leone reported 537 new confirmed cases in the week ending November 30, a jump of more than 150 over the week before.

In its latest update Wednesday, the WHO says "transmission remains persistent and intense across the country with the exception of the south." The worst affected area was the capital, Freetown, where more than 200 new cases were reported.

According to the WHO, the number of Ebola cases worldwide is more than 17,000, with all but a few dozen in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. The overall death toll is up to 6,070.

The report says the outbreak has largely stabilized in Guinea, which reported 77 new cases last week, and in Liberia, which reported 43.

It says all three countries "now have sufficient capacity at a national level" to isolate and treat at least 70 percent of Ebola patients, but it notes "capacity is still insufficient in some areas."

The report singles out the situation in western Sierra Leone, where it says the ability to isolate and treat patients is being stretched by the large number of new cases.