GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The death toll as a result of the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 5,177 amid a new spike in cases in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. Cases continue to decline in Liberia and Guinea.
In an updated situation report, the international public health agency raised the death toll from all eight affected countries to 5,160. The total number of cases rose by 315 to 14,413 over a two-day period, with more than 200 of the new cases reported coming from Sierra Leone. Liberia and Guinea reported 56 and 41 new cases, respectively.
"There is some evidence that case incidence is no longer increasing nationally in Guinea and Liberia, but steep increases persist in Sierra Leone. A mixed picture emerges at the district level," the WHO said in Friday's report. It said transmission remains consistently high in western and northern areas of Sierra Leone, as well as some areas of Guinea and Liberia.
No new cases were reported from Mali, where authorities revised the death toll down to three after one suspected case was determined not to have died of Ebola.
The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is believed to have started in Guinea in December 2013 but was not detected until March, after which it spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Mali. The outbreak features the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus, which is considered to be the most aggressive and deadly strain, having killed up to 9 out of 10 infected in previous outbreaks.