The number of deaths caused by the Ebola epidemic currently gripping west Africa is steadily rising.
According to the latest figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO), there have been more than 4,000 deaths in the region since the outbreak began in December last year.
Liberia has been hit hardest, with 2,316 deaths. There have been 930 and 778 deaths in Sierra Leone and Guinea, respectively.
Nigeria has also fallen victim to the disease, although to a lesser degree. Eight deaths have occurred there since the start of the epidemic, but large scale spread has been prevented. One death has occurred in Senegal, too.
But cases of the disease have also arisen in Europe and the US – mostly because of infected people travelling there from west Africa, but more recently people have actually become infected with the virus on these continents.
At the beginning of last week, a Spanish nurse became the first person to contract Ebola outside Africa. Teresa Romero tested positive for the disease after treating a repatriated missionary from Sierra Leone in a Madrid hospital.
A few days later, Nina Pham contracted the disease in the US. On Friday she came down with a fever and went to a hospital in Dallas, Texas. The 26-year-old nurse was one of the hospital staff involved in the care of Thomas Eric Duncan.
Duncan was a Liberian who flew to Texas on 20 September, and on 25 September went to the hospital after suffering from a headache and abdominal pain. Pham had been in his room regularly, according to hospital reports, including the day before he died.
Yesterday, a second nurse in Dallas tested positive for Ebola. Amber Joy Vinson had also been involved in the treatment of Duncan, according to health officials, and she has been placed in “strict isolation”.
Ebola patients have been treated in Georgia and Nebraska in the US, but in each case the individual arrived from west Africa and the disease has not spread to other people.
Ashoka Mukpo, an American freelance television cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia, was flown out of the country for treatment at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He has been treated with experimental drug brincidofovir and his health is improving.
Meanwhile, an unidentified American is being treated for the disease at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. No details have been made public about the patient, who returned to the US on 9 September.
In Europe, Norway, France and the UK have each treated an Ebola patient who went on to make a full recovery. In Germany, three Ebola patients have been treated, but one has died according to health reports released yesterday.
The 56-year-old UN medical worker flew to Germany from Liberia last week, and was being treated for the disease in Leipzig. He was given experimental drugs, but they were unable to save him.