More than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola and nearly half of them have died, according to figures released today by the World Health Organization. The UN health agency said the number of confirmed, probable, and suspected cases has risen to 10,141. Of those cases, 4,922 people have died. Its figures show about 200 new cases since the last report, four days ago. The vast majority are in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, but there have also been cases in three other West African countries, Spain, and the United States.
On Thursday, authorities confirmed that the disease had spread to Mali, the sixth West African country affected, and on the same day a new case was confirmed in New York City, in a doctor recently returned from Guinea. The Mali case is especially troubling because the nation had long been considered highly vulnerable. The disease arrived there in a 2-year-old, who traveled from Guinea with her grandmother by bus and died yesterday. What's worse, the toddler, who was bleeding from her nose during the journey, may have had high-risk contact with many people. (New York and New Jersey are now requiring that medical professionals and travelers who have been in contact with Ebola patients undergo a 21-day quarantine.)