Ebola death toll rises to above 2,600

More than 2,600 people have now died from Ebola, the World Health Organisation said.

The organisation reported more than 5,000 cases across west Africa, describing the crisis as "unparalleled in modern times".

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WHO: 120 health workers have died of Ebola

The World Health Organisation said that more than 240 health workers working on the Ebola epidemic have contracted the disease and around half of those infected workers have died.

MSF health workers at ELWA's isolation camp in Guinea's Monrovia. Credit: Reuters

“To date, more than 240 health care workers have developed the disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, and more than 120 have died.” WHO said. “Ebola has taken the lives of prominent doctors in Sierra Leone and Liberia, depriving these countries not only of experienced and dedicated medical care but also of inspiring national heroes.”

“Some documented infections have occurred when unprotected doctors rushed to aid a waiting patient who was visibly very ill. This is the first instinct of most doctors and nurses: aid the ailing,” WHO said.

“In many cases, medical staff are at risk because no protective equipment is available – not even gloves and face masks. Even in dedicated Ebola wards, personal protective equipment is often scarce or not being properly used,” the statement added.

Ebola has killed 1,400 people out of 2,600 infected in the current outbreak.

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