Liberia taxis have turned into "hot sources" of transmission as infected people crisscross town in futile attempts to find hospital beds
The World Health Organization (WHO) says responders to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa need to prepare to scale up their efforts three to four times as the number of cases sees an “exponential increase” over coming weeks.
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The U.N. body has been assessing the situation in Liberia, and outlines a desperate situation there and in other countries with a high rate of disease transmission in a statement released on Monday.
“As soon as a new Ebola treatment facility is opened, it immediately fills to overflowing with patients, pointing to a large but previously invisible caseload,” the WHO stated. “Many thousands of new cases are expected in Liberia over the coming three weeks.”
About 4,000 people have been confirmed infected with Ebola since the outbreak started in March, and around half of these have died. Guinea and Sierra Leone have been hard hit, but Liberia has recorded the highest cumulative number of reported cases and deaths. The transmission rate there remains perilous and in Montserrado county, which includes the capital Monrovia, “only half of the urgent and immediate capacity needs could be met within the next few weeks and months.”