A top World Health Organization (WHO) official on Sunday said the number of patients infected by the Ebola virus has risen to 1,825 in four African countries.
Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the assistant director general of health security for the World Health Organization, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that approximately 900 people have died in the outbreak, and that number is expected to increase.
“I think that we anticipate that there will continue to be cases,” he said.
“And if we continue to have cases, then we will continue to have people dying from this disease. This is a severe infection, so we expect both numbers to increase over the coming weeks.”
Fukuda, however, said, “this is definitely an outbreak that can be contained.”
“We know that this is not a mysterious disease,” he said. “It's a severe disease, but we know it's not mysterious. And what I mean by that is that we know how this virus is transmitted.
“I mean, it requires one person touching another person and coming into contact with bodily fluids. And because of that, and we know when people are most infectious, this virus can be stopped.”
Fukuda said weak health systems in the affected African countries are making the job more difficult, however.
“And so, what we need here is really to scale up. And so we know what to do, but WHO working with many different countries and many different partner organizations need help in making sure that we can do the things which are needed to stop transmission.”
Fukuda said countries with “good health systems, good health professionals, good surveillance systems” are unlikely to have large outbreaks.