EBOLA will claim 6800 new victims this month. By January, the number infected could soar to 500,000, the Centre for Disease Control warns.
The startling new estimates, reported in the Washington Post today and due to be released later this week, is a vast increase over World Health Organisation estimates released last month which said up to 20,000 would be exposed before ebola was controlled.
A study published in PLoS Outbreaks on Friday states mass quarantine efforts appear to have made the outbreak worse.
“There may be other reasons for the worsening of the outbreak spread, including the possibility that the virus has become more transmissible, but it’s also possible that the quarantine control efforts actually made the outbreak spread more quickly by crowding people together in unsanitary conditions,” research professor Sherry Towers of Arizona State University wrote.
The study also reports that the risk of international spread has increased because the African outbreak has spread to densely populated areas.
The new figure show the world is losing its battle against the devastating disease which sprang out of the jungles of West Africa earlier this year.
The epidemic has so far killed more than 2,600 people in west Africa, the UN World Health Organisation said Thursday.
The virus causes severe muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and — in some cases — unstoppable internal and external bleeding.
Previous outbreaks have been halted through isolating infected patients.
It remains the only option.
“No licensed vaccine or specific treatment for the disease is currently available,” the PLoS Outbreaks article reads. “This leaves improved hygiene, quarantine, isolation and social distancing as the only potential interventions,”
In a desperate move, most of the Sierra Leone’s six million people were confined to their homes from midnight on Friday for three days. Only essential workers such as health professionals and security forces exempt.