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Ebola: Nearly 5,000 dead in new WHO toll - but figure could be three times higher

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Ebola: Nearly 5,000 dead in new WHO toll - but figure could be three times higher

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At least 4,877 people have died in the world’s worst recorded outbreak of Ebola, and at least 9,936 cases of the disease had been registered.

The latest grim figures come from the World Health Organisation, which recognises that the true toll may be three times as high.

Liberia has been worst hit, with 4,665 recorded cases and 2,705 deaths, followed by Sierra Leone with 3,706 cases and 1,259 deaths. Guinea, where the outbreak originated, has had 1,540 cases and 904 deaths.

Although the disease has been contained in Nigeria and Senegal, it is now said to be spreading towards Ivory Coast.

Among outside help arriving in Liberia and in Guinea are dozens of doctors and nurses from Cuba. Its communist government has already sent 165 health professionals to Sierra Leone.

It is the latest example of Cuba’s medical diplomacy. The Caribbean island has dispatched medical brigades to disaster sites around the world since the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.