Newspaper article International New York Times

Ebola's Pace of Infection Set to Soar, W.H.O. Says ; Agency Thinks New Cases Could Reach 10,000 per Week by Early December

Newspaper article International New York Times

Ebola's Pace of Infection Set to Soar, W.H.O. Says ; Agency Thinks New Cases Could Reach 10,000 per Week by Early December

Article excerpt

The rate of infection could rise by a factor of five to ten in coming months, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

The rate of infection from the Ebola virus in West Africa could rise five- or tenfold in the coming months, even with a rapid escalation of international efforts to contain it, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

More than 4,447 people have died in the epidemic, which is concentrated in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the number of people infected, now at 8,914, will top 9,000 this week, Bruce Aylward, the organization's assistant secretary general, said in a briefing.

For the past three to four weeks the number of new infections has been running at about 1,000 cases a week, Mr. Aylward reported.

But looking ahead, the organization projects that the number of new infections could peak in early December, at 5,000 to 10,000 cases a week, he said.

The sobering news from the agency's headquarters in Geneva came as German authorities reported that a 56-year-old man who had been working with the United Nations in Liberia had died overnight at the hospital in Leipzig where he was being treated for Ebola.

The man was the third patient to arrive in Germany in recent weeks for treatment of Ebola, and the first to die.

The first patient, a Senegalese man who worked for the W.H.O., was treated in Hamburg from late August until Oct. 3, when he was released. He has since returned home. The second patient, a Ugandan doctor who was working in West Africa for an Italian aid organization, continues to receive treatment at a hospital in Frankfurt.

The St. Georg clinic in Leipzig, where the man who died had been treated, announced his arrival last Thursday. At the time, doctors said his condition was critical but stable, and there were no further updates on his status. They provided few details on Tuesday, other than confirming his death.

When he was admitted, the hospital gave assurances that he would be safely isolated. "There is no risk of infection for other patients, relatives, visitors or the public," Dr. Iris Minde, the chief executive of the clinic, said in a statement. …

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