Ebola Deaths Now Over 7,000, Cases Over 19,000, WHO Data Reports

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Deaths from the Ebola outbreak are now over 7,000, according to the latest World Health Organization data.

Time reported that the most hit by the deaths from the virus is Sierra Leone.

The WHO data showed that there are 7,373 deaths as of Friday posting.

The Guardian reported that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was in Sierra Leone Friday.

He is optimistic that the disease is slowing down

"We have a long way to go. Zero cases in Liberia, and this entire region, must be everyone's goal," he was quoted as saying. Ban also was in Liberia where it is now Ebola-free.

The total number of cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia is now 19,031.

Up from 18,569.Guinea and Sierra Leone are also taking measures to prevent transmission by imposing bans on new year's eve celebrations such as "fireworks displays and beach gatherings," according to The Guardian.

The WHO website said the Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated.

It added that Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo.

However, the outbreak in March this year is the largest with more cases and deaths since it was discovered in 1976.

"The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability. On August 8, the WHO Director-General declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern," the website added.

WHO stated that humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. Vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function follow this.

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