Ebola death toll rises to more than 500 as virus spreads

The death toll from Ebola has risen to 518, as the deadly virus continues to spread. The World Health Organisation said 50 new cases and 25 deaths had been reported in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since July 3.

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Increase in Ebola cases a 'cause for concern'

The increase in cases of Ebola in west Africa is a "cause for concern", but the risk to travellers remains "very low", Public Health England (PHE) said.

Around 779 cases have been reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, killing an estimated 481 people in the largest ever known outbreak of the disease.

Health workers take blood samples for Ebola virus testing in the local government hospital in Sierra Leone. Credit: Reuters

PHE confirmed it has sent a number of laboratory and health staff to the region in a bid to bring it under control.

"The increase in cases and expansion into new areas are cause for concern, as this indicates that the outbreak is not yet under control," Dr Dilys Morgan, head of gastrointestinal, emerging and zoonotic diseases at PHE, said.

"The risk to travellers and people working in these countries of contracting Ebola is very low, but we have alerted medical practitioners about the situation in West Africa and requested they remain vigilant for unexplained illness in those who have visited the affected areas."

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