GENEVA Aug 28 The Ebola outbreak in West Africa
has killed more than 1,552 people out of 3,069 known cases in
four countries and "continues to accelerate", the World Health
Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday.
The epidemic in the region, the deadliest since the disease
was first discovered in 1976, has killed nearly as many people
as all the previous known outbreaks combined.
"More than 40 percent of the total number of cases have
occurred within the past 21 days. However, most cases are
concentrated in only a few localities," the United Nations
health agency said in a statement.
The WHO is later due to launch a new strategic plan for
tackling the spread of the virulent disease.
A separate Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, identified as a different strain of the virus, is not
included in the latest figures which cover Guinea, Liberia,
Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
The disease has overwhelmed West Africa's already fragile
health infrastructure. On Wednesday, the head of the African
Development Bank said it was causing enormous damage to the
economies of the region.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing
by Toby Chopra and Crispian Balmer)