Food distribution to Ebola quarantine sites scaled up as death toll hits 1,200

The World Health Organization and the U.N.'s World Food Program have teamed up to provide needed food to quarantine sites in Ebola-affected countries in West Africa. "Providing regular food supplies is a potent means of limiting unnecessary movement," WHO noted.
By JC Finley  |  Aug. 19, 2014 at 4:55 PM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The World Health Organization issued an update Tuesday regarding the deadly outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

As of August 16, WHO recorded 2,240 cases of confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, including 1,229 deaths.

The distribution and classification of the cases are as follows:

-- Guinea, 543 cases (396 confirmed, 140 probable, and 7 suspected), including 394 deaths;

-- Liberia, 834 cases (200 confirmed, 444 probable, and 190 suspected), including 466 deaths;

-- Nigeria, 15 cases (12 confirmed, 0 probable, and 3 suspected), including 4 deaths;

-- Sierra Leone, 848 cases (775 confirmed, 34 probable, and 39 suspected), including 365 deaths.

Affected countries have responded to the outbreak by instituting quarantine zones in high-transmission areas. While the quarantine is intended to prevent the spread of Ebola, WHO noted that "it also means that barriers to travel limit their access to food and other necessities."

In order to ensure access to food and non-medical supplies in those areas, WHO has teamed up with the United Nation's World Food Program, underscoring that "Providing regular food supplies is a potent means of limiting unnecessary movement."

"WFP is now scaling up its program to distribute food to the around 1 million people living in the quarantine zones in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone."

The Ebola virus is spread by close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or corpse, and typically kills up to 90 percent of its victims.

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