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Ebola Numbers Vastly Underestimate Reach Of Outbreak, WHO Says

A man lies in a newly opened Ebola isolation center in a closed school in Monrovia, Liberia, on Thursday. The official death toll of 1,000 people in four countries is likely below the actual number, the World Health Organization says.
John Moore
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A man lies in a newly opened Ebola isolation center in a closed school in Monrovia, Liberia, on Thursday. The official death toll of 1,000 people in four countries is likely below the actual number, the World Health Organization says.

The official count of Ebola cases and deaths may "vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak," the World Health Organization posted on its website.

The latest numbers from the WHO are 1,975 cases — with 1,069 deaths — from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

But, as NPR's Michaeleen Doucleff reports, WHO staff "say they're seeing evidence that the death toll and number of infections is much larger than these official counts."

The organization says it is "coordinating a massive scaling up of the international response." The WHO has already called the outbreak a global health emergency. As Goats and Soda reported Friday, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said that declaration was "a clear call for international solidarity."

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Dana Farrington
Dana Farrington is a digital editor coordinating online coverage on the Washington Desk — from daily stories to visual feature projects to the weekly newsletter. She has been with the NPR Politics team since President Trump's inauguration. Before that, she was among NPR's first engagement editors, managing the homepage for and the main social accounts. Dana has also worked as a weekend web producer and editor, and has written on a wide range of topics for NPR, including tech and women's health.