GENEVA (AFP) - More than 10,000 people have now died from the Ebola virus, almost all of them in west Africa, the World Health Organisation said Thursday.
The three hardest-hit countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have recorded 24,350 cases and 10,004 deaths since the epidemic began more than a year ago, the UN body said.
There have also been six deaths in Mali, one in the United States and eight in Nigeria, all of which have since been declared Ebola-free.
Ebola, one of the deadliest pathogens known to man, is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person showing symptoms such as fever or vomiting.
Sierra Leone has registered the highest number of cases in the worst-ever outbreak of the tropical fever, reporting 11,677 cases as of March 10, according to the WHO.
The country has seen a total of 3,655 deaths from Ebola.
Also as of March 10, Guinea had reported 3,330 cases and 2,187 deaths.
Liberia, long the worst-hit country, recorded 9,343 cases as of March 5, with 4,162 deaths.
The WHO said on Wednesday that Liberia appeared to have turned a corner in the fight against the disease, with no new cases of the deadly virus reported since Feb 19.
Six months ago, Liberia was reporting more than 300 new cases each week.
The country’s last confirmed Ebola patient left hospital earlier this month.