The number of people infected with the Ebola virus could reach 20,000 by the beginning of November if efforts to contain the outbreak are not accelerated, warns a new report from the World Health Organization.
The outbreak has killed around 2,800 people in five West African countries this year. An estimated 5,800 people have been infected with the virus, which has no known cure. The WHO has repeatedly said that the actual number of infections and deaths is almost certainly higher than the official figures, Fox News reported.
The report, published six months after the first cases were reported, is far more pessimistic than an earlier survey published last month, in which the WHO suggested that the number of cases could reach 20,000 by the middle of next year. According to The New York Times, the report also raises the possibility that the outbreak will cause Ebola to become endemic in West Africa.
The WHO said Monday that the Ebola outbreak was "pretty much contained" in Nigeria and Senegal. However, the death rate among infected is currently at around 70 percent in the other three countries touched by the infection: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Of those three, Liberia has reported the most Ebola cases, at just over 3,000, the report said.