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Ebola may be deadlier and more widespread: Study

PTI 06 Nov 2014, 7:57:19 AM IST

New York: The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa that has grown exponentially since May and has already killed over 5,000 people could prove to be much widespread and deadlier that what is currently believed, an analysis shows.

The outbreak's fatality rate is over 70% - rather than 50% as previously claimed by the World Health Organization (WHO) - and that the total number of affected individuals could exceed 1 million by early next year, the study warned.

The study highlights the inadequate global response to the current Ebola outbreak.

As long as the number of infected people rises exponentially, the likelihood of exporting Ebola to other countries does as well.

"If trends continue for a few more months, the global community could be forced into a terrible ethical dilemma - either risking the escape of Ebola to other poor countries or sealing off borders to countries in West Africa, with unimaginable humanitarian consequences," said Allen Hunt, professor at Wright State University in the US.

The study appeared in the journal Complexity.