The World Health Organization has released an official update on the 2014 Ebola Virus outbreak confirming that the death toll has climbed past the 3000 mark even though Sierra Leone has failed to report data from the lockdown last weekend where at least 358 news cases and 265 bodies were discovered. Officially as of the 23 September 2014 Ebola has claimed 3083 lives in West Africa with 6553 cases being reported to date. Unofficially by adding in the estimated Sierra Leone counts the total case number is 6911 with as many as 3348 deaths. It is not possible to confirm at this stage that all 265 bodies are as a result of Ebola since many other deadly diseases are endemic to the West African Region.
The situation in Guinea continues to be reported as stable with the number of new cases reported remaining consistent, Nigeria and Senegal have not reported any new cases with Nigeria reporting 847 out of 872 contacts beyond the 21 day follow-up period. WHO has not reported further outbreaks in any new countries. Several new treatment centers have been added to the report and many of the larger centers are reported as having capacity for additional cases. Unfortunately Liberia remains unable to treat all Ebola patients and treatment centers have been forced to turn potential Ebola cases away.
Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) has announced that ports will once again be opened to affected countries allowing travel from its neighbors. Several organizations have, in recent weeks, criticized the decisions of many African countries to ban travel from the affected zones. The African Union has been particularly critical of border closures insisting that African countries allow travel but many critics still believe border closures provide an effective means of limiting the spread of the virus. Cote D’Ivoire has so far evaded infection despite being bordered by the worst hit countries and many fear that opening the borders will as a positive provide economic relief in the region but as a negative increase the risk of Ebola spreading to the nation.