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Worldwide Ebola cases top 10,000, WHO reports

More than 10,000 people worldwide have been infected with the Ebola virus, the World Health Organization reported Saturday, and nearly half of those people died. 

The countries hit hardest are Liberia, with a reported 4,665 cases and 2,705 deaths; Sierra Leone with 3,896 cases and 1,281 deaths; and Guinea, which has seen 1,553 cases and 926 deaths, according to the WHO.

The figures are likely an underestimate since many people in the worst-affected countries have been either too scared or unable to seek medical care,  the Associated Press reported.

The most recent WHO report shows no change in Liberia’s case toll, indicating numbers may be lagging behind, as shortages of labs capable of dealing with potentially infected blood samples are causing a delay in tracking, the AP reported.

There have been nine cases of Ebola diagnosed in the United States so far, including Thomas Eric Duncan, who died from the virus on Oct. 8, and the most recent case, Dr. Craig Spencer, who returned to New York last week after treating Ebola patients in Guinea.

Since his return, governors of New York and New Jersey imposed a mandatory 21-day quarantine period for all doctors, health workers and other travelers who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa.

The first person to be quarantined under the rules was a health worker who arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday, the BBC reported.

The woman showed no symptoms, but was found to have a fever. A preliminary test came back negative for Ebola, the New Jersey health department said Saturday. She remains in isolation at this time.

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