Ebola deaths top 900

The World Health Organization says 932 people in the four West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Liberia have died from the Ebola virus.

According to health officials, 45 people died between Saturday and Monday alone, mostly in Liberia. The organization also says the number of confirmed infected has risen to 1,711 cases.

ADVERTISEMENT
So far, two Americans are confirmed to have been infected by the virus in Liberia.

Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, a physician and a missionary respectively, were given an experimental medication to fight the disease and flown to Atlanta in isolation for further treatment. Both are reportedly showing signs of improvement.

The Obama administration has been taking measures to fight the recent outbreak, which is already the most deadly in history.

Last week, the president issued an executive order that would allow the government to quarantine people suspected of having respiratory illnesses. Obama also wrote an op-ed last week, saying the administration is working with African leaders to contain the spread of the disease.

“Today, we’re working urgently with nations in West Africa and global health organizations to help treat those infected with Ebola and to contain the outbreak,” he wrote. “Here at home, we’re taking the necessary precautions to protect Americans.”

The administration has said it will not be turning back flights from West Africa for fear of the disease. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put in place measures to deny passengers showing symptoms of Ebola from boarding flights to the U.S. and are training customs agents to screen for the disease.

African leaders are attending the U.S.-Africa Summit this week, but presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Earnest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone stayed home to handle the Ebola crisis.

During his opening remarks at the summit Wednesday, Obama offered his support to the countries affected by the outbreak.

“The United States and our international partners will continue to do whatever we can to help our African partners respond to this crisis and to stand with the people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,” he said. “In their histories they’ve overcome great challenges, and they are drawing on that same spirit of strength and resilience today.”

 

— Updated at 11:23 a.m.