The catastrophic Ebola outbreak in West Africa was already dubbed the world's worst-ever way back in June. But since then, the spread of the viral disease has only gotten worse in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
The World Health Organization reported 1,975 cases and 1,069 deaths in those three countries and Nigeria as of Thursday. On Friday, media reports cited a new count by the WHO of 2,127 cases and 1,145 deaths in the four countries.
Ebola, a hemorraghic virus that has up to a 90 percent mortality rate, is strongest and most contagious in its later stages. That means that the bodies of those who have died from it are highly contagious, though the disease can only be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids. This has created a major obstacle for health workers attempting to control the disease, as some traditional burials involve washing corpses, putting surviving relatives at greater risk.
Of course, treating victims is also hugely difficult, as medical workers must take layers of precautions to avoid contracting the disease from sick patients. Those suspected of carrying the disease are being moved to isolation centers, while doctors treating patients are covered head to toe in protective gowns, masks, gloves and boots.
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