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WHO: W. Africa Ebola Death Toll Nears 8,000

Health workers bury the body of a suspected Ebola victim at a cemetery in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Dec. 21, 2014.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has reached 7,905, out of a total 20,206 confirmed, probable and suspected cases.

The international organization released the new numbers Wednesday, as the year that saw the worst Ebola outbreak ever reported came to an end. Medical experts say that the outbreak that began more than a year ago may wind down by the end of 2015.

In a news release, the WHO said there are signs that transmission rates have slowed in Sierra Leone, although the western part of that nation is still experiencing the most intense transmission of all affected countries. Sierra Leone currently has 9,446 cases and 2,758 recorded deaths.

Reported case incidence is on the decline in Liberia, where 8,018 cases and 3,423 deaths have been recorded. In Guinea, transmission rates are fluctuating. Guinea has recorded 2,707 cases and 1,709 deaths.

The other nations where at least one Ebola case has been diagnosed include Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, a Scottish nurse infected with Ebola is receiving an unnamed experimental antiviral drug as well as plasma taken from the blood of an Ebola survivor.

Officials at the Royal Free Hospital in North London, where the nurse is being treated, declined to specify the exact experimental serum, but they said Pauline Cafferkey is receiving plasma containing antibodies from the blood of an Ebola survivor that they hope might help their patient recover.

Cafferkey is said to have contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone.