DAKAR, Senegal — The Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa could last another six months, Doctors Without Borders said Friday, and a medical worker acknowledged that the true death toll is unknown.
Tarnue Karbbar, who works for the aid group Plan International in northern Liberia, said response teams simply aren't able to document all the cases breaking out. Many of the sick are still being hidden at home by their relatives, too fearful of going to an Ebola treatment center.
Others are buried before the teams can get to the area, he said. In the past several days, some 75 cases have emerged in a single district.
"Our challenge now is to quarantine the area to successfully break the transmission," he said, referring to the Voinjama area.
Many people may be hiding, but many are also finally beginning to seek treatment, as more centers open up.
Beds in such centers are filling up faster than they can be provided, evidence that the outbreak in West Africa is far more severe than the numbers show, Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for World Health Organization in Geneva, said.
There are 40 beds at a treatment center that Doctors Without Borders recently took over in one quarantined county in Liberia but 137 people have flocked there, packing the hallways until they can be sorted into those who are infected and those are not, said Doctors Without Borders' international president, Joanne Liu.
Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.